[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study applied item response theory to identify an efficient set of items of the Achenbach Externalizing scale from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; 33 items) and Teacher's Report Form (TRF; 35 items) that were sensitive to clinical-range scores. Mothers and teachers rated children's externalizing problems annually from ages 5 to 13 years in 2 independent samples (Ns = 585 and 1,199). Item properties for each rater across ages 5-8 and 9-13 were examined with item response theory. We identified 10 mother- and teacher-reported items from both samples based on the items' measurement precision for subclinical and clinical levels of externalizing problems: externalizing problems that involve meanness to others, destroying others' things, fighting, lying and cheating, attacking people, screaming, swearing/obscene language, temper tantrums, threatening people, and being loud. Scores on the scales using these items had strong reliability and psychometric properties, capturing nearly as much information as the full Externalizing scale for classifying clinical levels of externalizing problems. Scores on the scale with the 10 CBCL items had moderate accuracy, equivalent to the full Externalizing scale, in classifying diagnoses of conduct disorder based on a research diagnostic interview. Of course, comprehensive clinical assessment would consider additional items, dimensions of behavior, and sources of information, too, but it appears that the behaviors tapped by this select set of items may be core to externalizing psychopathology in children. (PsycINFO Database Record
(c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caregiving is requisite to wholesome child development from the beginning of life. A cross-sectional microgenetic analysis of six caregiving practices across the child's 1st year (0-12 months) in 42,539 families from nationally representative samples in 38 low- and middle-income countries is reported. Rates of caregiving varied tremendously within and across countries. However, caregiving practices followed one of two developmental trajectories: (a) greater proportions of caregivers read, told stories, and named, counted, and drew with each additional month of infant age, and (b) proportions of caregivers who played, sang songs, and took their infants outside increased each month from birth but reached an asymptote at 4-5 months. Rates and growth functions of caregiving have implications for infant care and development.
Published 2015. This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.
Child Development 08/2015; 86(5). DOI:10.1111/cdev.12402 · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We tested a model that children's tendency to attribute hostile intent to others in response to provocation is a key psychological process that statistically accounts for individual differences in reactive aggressive behavior and that this mechanism contributes to global group differences in children's chronic aggressive behavior problems. Participants were 1,299 children (mean age at year 1 = 8.3 y; 51% girls) from 12 diverse ecological-context groups in nine countries worldwide, followed across 4 y. In year 3, each child was presented with each of 10 hypothetical vignettes depicting an ambiguous provocation toward the child and was asked to attribute the likely intent of the provocateur (coded as benign or hostile) and to predict his or her own behavioral response (coded as nonaggression or reactive aggression). Mothers and children independently rated the child's chronic aggressive behavior problems in years 2, 3, and 4. In every ecological group, in those situations in which a child attributed hostile intent to a peer, that child was more likely to report that he or she would respond with reactive aggression than in situations when that same child attributed benign intent. Across children, hostile attributional bias scores predicted higher mother- and child-rated chronic aggressive behavior problems, even controlling for prior aggression. Ecological group differences in the tendency for children to attribute hostile intent statistically accounted for a significant portion of group differences in chronic aggressive behavior problems. The findings suggest a psychological mechanism for group differences in aggressive behavior and point to potential interventions to reduce aggressive behavior.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2015; 112(30). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1418572112 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examine whether parental externalizing behavior has an indirect effect on adolescent externalizing behavior via elevations in life events, and whether this indirect effect is further qualified by an interaction between life events and adolescents' GABRA2 genotype (rs279871). We use data from 2 samples: the Child Development Project (CDP; n = 324) and FinnTwin12 (n = 802). In CDP, repeated measures of life events, mother-reported adolescent externalizing, and teacher-reported adolescent externalizing were used. In FinnTwin12, life events and externalizing were assessed at age 14. Parental externalizing was indexed by measures of antisocial behavior and alcohol problems or alcohol dependence symptoms in both samples. In CDP, parental externalizing was associated with more life events, and the association between life events and subsequent adolescent externalizing varied as a function of GABRA2 genotype (p ≤ .05). The association between life events and subsequent adolescent externalizing was stronger for adolescents with 0 copies of the G minor allele compared to those with 1 or 2 copies of the minor allele. Parallel moderation trends were observed in FinnTwin12 (p ≤ .11). The discussion focuses on how the strength of intergenerational pathways for externalizing psychopathology may differ as a function of adolescent-level individual differences. (PsycINFO Database Record
(c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Journal of Abnormal Psychology 06/2015; DOI:10.1037/abn0000066 · 4.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caregiver education is known to relate to the growth of children, but possible mediation mechanisms of this association are poorly characterized and generally lack empirical support. We test whether instructional capital (caregiver education) leads to improved infant growth through availability of physical capital (household resources) across a wide swath of low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Using the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, we explore relations among caregiver education, household resources, and infant (M age = 0.99 years) growth in 117,881 families living in 39 LMIC. Overall, household resources mediated 76% of the small association between caregiver education and infant growth. When disaggregated by countries characterized by low, medium, and high levels of human development (as indexed by average life expectancy, education, and gross domestic product), household resources mediated 48–78% of the association between caregiver education and infant growth. Caregiver education had effects on infant growth through household resources in countries characterized by low, medium, and high levels of human development; for girls and boys; and controlling for indexes of infant feeding and health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a developmental analysis of genetic moderation of the effect of the Fast Track intervention on adult externalizing psychopathology. The Fast Track intervention enrolled 891 children at high risk to develop externalizing behavior problems when they were in kindergarten. Half of the enrolled children were randomly assigned to receive 10 years of treatment, with a range of services and resources provided to the children and their families, and the other half to usual care (controls). We previously showed that the effect of the Fast Track intervention on participants' risk of externalizing psychopathology at age 25 years was moderated by a variant in the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Children who carried copies of the A allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs10482672 had the highest risk of externalizing psychopathology if they were in the control arm of the trial and the lowest risk of externalizing psychopathology if they were in the treatment arm. In this study, we test a developmental hypothesis about the origins of this for better and for worse Gene × Intervention interaction (G × I): that the observed G × I effect on adult psychopathology is mediated by the proximal impact of intervention on childhood externalizing problems and adolescent substance use and delinquency. We analyzed longitudinal data tracking the 270 European American children in the Fast Track randomized control trial with available genetic information (129 intervention children, 141 control group peers, 69% male) from kindergarten through age 25 years. Results show that the same pattern of for better and for worse susceptibility to intervention observed at the age 25 follow-up was evident already during childhood. At the elementary school follow-ups and at the middle/high school follow-ups, rs10482672 predicted better adjustment among children receiving the Fast Track intervention and worse adjustment among children in the control condition. In turn, these proximal G × I effects early in development mediated the ultimate G × I effect on externalizing psychopathology at age 25 years. We discuss the contribution of these findings to the growing literature on genetic susceptibility to environmental intervention.
Development and Psychopathology 02/2015; 27(1):81-95. DOI:10.1017/S095457941400131X · 4.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This longitudinal study considers externalizing behavior problems from ages 5 to 27 (N = 585). Externalizing problem ratings by mothers, fathers, teachers, peers, and self-report were modeled with growth curves. Risk and protective factors across many different domains and time frames were included as predictors of the trajectories. A major contribution of the study is in demonstrating how heterotypic continuity and changing measures can be handled in modeling changes in externalizing behavior over long developmental periods. On average, externalizing problems decreased from early childhood to preadolescence, increased during adolescence, and decreased from late adolescence to adulthood. There was strong nonlinear continuity in externalizing problems over time. Family process, peer process, stress, and individual characteristics predicted externalizing problems beyond the strong continuity of externalizing problems. The model accounted for 70% of the variability in the development of externalizing problems. The model's predicted values showed moderate sensitivity and specificity in prediction of arrests, illegal drug use, and drunk driving. Overall, the study showed that by using changing, developmentally relevant measures and simultaneously taking into account numerous characteristics of children and their living situations, research can model lengthy spans of development and improve predictions of the development of later, severe externalizing problems.
Development and Psychopathology 08/2014; 27(3):1-28. DOI:10.1017/S0954579414000789 · 4.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Risky sexual behavior poses significant health risks by increasing sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. Previous research has documented many factors related to risky sexual behavior. This study adds to the literature by proposing a prospective, developmental model of peer factors related to risky sexual behavior. Developmental pathways to risky sexual behavior were examined in a sample of 517 individuals (51 % female; 82 % European American, 16 % African American, 2 % other) followed from age 5-27. Structural equation models examined direct and indirect effects of peer rejection (assessed via peer nominations at ages 5, 6, 7, and 8), affiliation with deviant peers (assessed via self-report at ages 11 and 12), and delinquency (assessed via maternal report at ages 10 and 16) on risky sexual behavior (assessed via self-report at age 27). More peer rejection during childhood, affiliation with deviant peers during pre- adolescence, and delinquency in childhood and adolescence predicted more risky sexual behavior through age 27, although delinquency at age 16 was the only risk factor that had a significant direct effect on risky sexual behavior through age 27 above and beyond the other risk factors. Peer rejection was related to subsequent risk factors for girls but not boys. Peer risk factors as early as age 5 shape developmental pathways through childhood and adolescence and have implications for risky sexual behavior into adulthood.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 08/2014; 43(10). DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0175-y · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We assessed 2 forms of agreement between mothers' and fathers' socially desirable responding in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the United States (N = 1110 families). Mothers and fathers in all 9 countries reported socially desirable responding in the upper half of the distribution, and countries varied minimally (but China was higher than the cross-country grand mean and Sweden lower). Mothers and fathers did not differ in reported levels of socially desirable responding, and mothers' and fathers' socially desirable responding were largely uncorrelated. With one exception, mothers' and fathers' socially desirable responding were similarly correlated with self-perceptions of parenting, and correlations varied somewhat across countries. These findings are set in a discussion of socially desirable responding, cultural psychology and family systems.
International Journal of Psychology 07/2014; 50(3). DOI:10.1002/ijop.12084 · 1.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two key tasks facing parents across cultures are managing children's behaviors (and misbehaviors) and conveying love and affection. Previous research has found that corporal punishment generally is related to worse child adjustment, whereas parental warmth is related to better child adjustment. This study examined whether the association between corporal punishment and child adjustment problems (anxiety and aggression) is moderated by maternal warmth in a diverse set of countries that vary in a number of sociodemographic and psychological ways. Interviews were conducted with 7- to 10-year-old children (N = 1,196; 51% girls) and their mothers in 8 countries: China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States. Follow-up interviews were conducted 1 and 2 years later. Corporal punishment was related to increases, and maternal warmth was related to decreases, in children's anxiety and aggression over time; however, these associations varied somewhat across groups. Maternal warmth moderated the effect of corporal punishment in some countries, with increases in anxiety over time for children whose mothers were high in both warmth and corporal punishment. The findings illustrate the overall association between corporal punishment and child anxiety and aggression as well as patterns specific to particular countries. Results suggest that clinicians across countries should advise parents against using corporal punishment, even in the context of parent-child relationships that are otherwise warm, and should assist parents in finding other ways to manage children's behaviors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined whether parents' social information processing was related to their subsequent reports of their harsh discipline. Interviews were conducted with mothers (n = 1,277) and fathers (n = 1,030) of children in 1,297 families in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States), initially when children were 7 to 9 years old and again 1 year later. Structural equation models showed that parents' positive evaluations of aggressive responses to hypothetical childrearing vignettes at Time 1 predicted parents' self-reported harsh physical and nonphysical discipline at Time 2. This link was consistent across mothers and fathers, and across the nine countries, providing support for the universality of the link between positive evaluations of harsh discipline and parents' aggressive behavior toward children. The results suggest that international efforts to eliminate violence toward children could target parents' beliefs about the acceptability and advisability of using harsh physical and nonphysical forms of discipline.
Development and Psychopathology 04/2014; 26(3):1-13. DOI:10.1017/S0954579414000236 · 4.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a culturally informed risk-protective framework, the purpose of this study was to examine spiritual well-being (existential, religious) as a moderator (protective factor) in the relation between neighborhood disorder (risk factor) and parenting stress in a high-risk sample of low-socioeconomic status (SES) African American women (N = 144). These women, who were primary caregivers of children between 8 and 12 years old, reported on disorder in their existential and religious well-being, neighborhoods, and 3 types of parenting stress. Women who perceived more disorder in their neighborhood had more parenting stress, and women who reported more existential and religious well-being had less parenting stress. Existential (characterized by a sense of purpose in life), but not religious (characterized by a sense of life in relation with God) well-being moderated the relation between neighborhood disorder and all types of parenting stress, such that women with medium or high levels of existential well-being had low levels of parenting stress at low levels of neighborhood disorder, but higher levels of parenting stress at higher levels of neighborhood disorder. No moderation effects were found at low levels of existential well-being. Results are framed in a context that emphasizes their relevance to incorporating family interventions that bolster culturally relevant resilience factors, such as spirituality, pertinent to low-SES African American families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Journal of Family Psychology 04/2014; 28(6). DOI:10.1037/a0036373 · 1.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined evidence that peer victimization in middle childhood is a lead indicator of internalizing behavior problems and diagnostic outcomes during adolescence. This research was conducted as part of an ongoing multisite longitudinal investigation. The participants were 388 children (198 boys, 190 girls). Peer victimization was assessed with a peer nomination inventory that was administered when the average age of the participants was approximately 8.5 years. Internalizing problems were assessed using a behavior problem checklist completed by mothers in 9 consecutive years, and a structured clinical interview was administered to the participants in the summer following high school graduation (10-11 years after the victimization assessment). Peer victimization in middle childhood was correlated with internalizing problems on a bivariate basis through the late years of adolescence. Multilevel analyses also revealed associations between peer victimization and increases in internalizing problems over time. In addition, peer victimization had a modest link to unipolar depressive disorders in late adolescence. Victimization in the peer group during middle childhood appears to be a marker of long-term risk for internalizing behavior problems and unipolar depression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examines parents' and children's exposure to short-term political violence and the relation between childrearing violence and child adjustment following widespread violence that erupted in Kisumu, Kenya after the disputed presidential election in December 2007.
Mothers of 100 Luo children (mean age = 8.46 years, 61% female) reported on their own use of childrearing violence at Time 1, approximately 4 months after the disputed election, and again at Times 2 (n = 95) and 3 (n = 95), approximately 12 and 24 months later, respectively. At Time 2, mothers reported about post-election violence directed at them and about their children's exposure to post-election violence. Children reported about their own externalizing behaviors at Times 1, 2, and 3.
Children's exposure to post-election violence was related to Time 2 externalizing behavior, and childrearing violence at Time 1 predicted child externalizing behavior at Time 2. Exposure to post-election violence was not directly related to either childrearing violence or children's externalizing behavior by Time 3, although children's externalizing at Time 2 predicted more childrearing violence at Time 3.
These results support earlier work that links childrearing violence and children's exposure to political violence with increases in child externalizing behavior, but examined these links in the under-studied area of short-term political violence. Even though sudden and severe political violence may subside significantly in weeks or months, increased attention to long-term effects on parenting and child adjustment is warranted.
Psychology of Violence 03/2014; 4(1):37-50. DOI:10.1037/a0033237 · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined trajectories of peer social preference during childhood and personality assessed in early adolescence in relation to trajectories of friendship quality during early adulthood. Participants (N = 585) were followed from ages 5 to age 23. At ages 5 to 8, peers provided sociometric nominations; at age 12 participants reported their own personality characteristics; from ages 19 to 23 participants rated their friendship quality. Latent growth modeling revealed that trajectories characterized by high levels of childhood peer social preference were related to trajectories characterized by high levels of early adulthood friendship quality. Early adolescent personality characterized by extraversion and conscientiousness predicted higher friendship quality at age 19, and conscientiousness predicted change in friendship quality from ages 19 to 23. This study demonstrates that peer relationships show continuity from childhood to early adulthood and that qualities of core personality are linked to the development of adult friendships.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to neighborhood danger during childhood has negative effects that permeate multiple dimensions of childhood. The current study examined whether mothers', fathers', and children's perceptions of neighborhood danger are related to child aggression, whether parental monitoring moderates this relation, and whether harsh parenting mediates this relation. Interviews were conducted with a sample of 1293 children (age M = 10.68, SD = 0.66; 51% girls) and their mothers (n = 1282) and fathers (n = 1075) in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). Perceptions of greater neighborhood danger were associated with more child aggression in all nine countries according to mothers' and fathers' reports and in five of the nine countries according to children's reports. Parental monitoring did not moderate the relation between perception of neighborhood danger and child aggression. The mediating role of harsh parenting was inconsistent across countries and reporters. Implications for further research are discussed, and include examination of more specific aspects of parental monitoring as well as more objective measures of neighborhood danger.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Convention on the Rights of the Child has prompted countries to protect children from abuse and exploitation. Exposure to domestic violence and corporal punishment are risk factors in children's development. This study investigated how women's attitudes about domestic violence are related to attitudes about corporal punishment and harsh behaviors toward children, and whether country-wide norms regarding domestic violence and corporal punishment are related to psychological aggression and physical violence toward children.
Data were drawn from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, a nationally representative and internationally comparable household survey developed by the United Nations Children's Fund. Measures of domestic violence and discipline were completed by 85 999 female caregivers of children between the ages of 2 and 14 years from families in 25 low- and middle-income countries.
Mothers who believed that husbands were justified in hitting their wives were more likely to believe that corporal punishment is necessary to rear children. Mothers who believed that husbands were justified in hitting their wives and that corporal punishment is necessary to rear children were more likely to report that their child had experienced psychological aggression and physical violence. Countrywide norms regarding the acceptability of husbands hitting wives and advisability of corporal punishment moderated the links between mothers' attitudes and their behaviors toward children.
Pediatricians can address parents' psychological aggression and physical violence toward children by discussing parents' attitudes and behaviors within a framework that incorporates social norms regarding the acceptability of domestic violence and corporal punishment.
The Journal of pediatrics 01/2014; 164(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.11.060 · 3.79 Impact Factor