[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most theoretical models of developmental psychopathology involve a transactional, bi-directional relation between parenting and children’s behavior problems. The present study utilized a cross-lagged panel, multiple interval design to model change in bi-directional relations between child and parent behavior across successive developmental periods. Two major categories of child behavior problems, internalizing and externalizing, and two aspects of parenting, positive (use of support and structure) and harsh discipline (use of physical punishment), were modeled across three time points spaced 3 years apart. Two successive developmental intervals, from approximately age 7.5 to 10.5 and from 10.5 to 13.5, were included. Mother-child dyads (N =138; 65 boys) from a lower-income longitudinal sample of families participated, with standardized measures of mothers rating their own parenting behavior and teachers reporting on child’s behavior. Results revealed different types of reciprocal relations between specific aspects of child and parent behavior, with internalizing problems predicting an increase in positive parenting over time, which subsequently led to a reduction in internalizing problems across the successive 3-year interval. In contrast, externalizing predicted reduced levels of positive parenting, in a reciprocal sequence that extended across two successive intervals and predicted increased levels of externalizing over time. Implications for prevention and early intervention are discussed.
Development and Psychopathology 10/2015; 27:969–986. DOI:10.1017/S0954579415000632 · 4.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The benefits of an autonomy supportive environment have been established as a key component in children's development at various ages. Nonetheless, research examining the outcomes of early autonomy supportive environments has largely neglected socio-emotional development. The first objective of the present longitudinal study was to examine the socio-emotional outcomes associated with maternal autonomy support during the preschool period. Second, we explored the contextual specificity of the relationships between maternal autonomy support and children's later socio-emotional outcomes. Finally, we investigated the indirect effect of maternal autonomy support on children's later socio-emotional outcomes through earlier children's socio-emotional outcomes. Sixty-six mothers and their pre-school aged children (41 girls) were followed during preschool (Time 1), elementary school (Time 2) and preadolescence (Time 3). Maternal autonomy support (Time 1) was measured in two contexts (free-play and interference task) using observational coding. Furthermore, the children's internalizing and externalizing problems as well as their social competence were measured at Times 2 and 3. The results revealed the importance of maternal autonomy support during preschool for children's later socio-emotional development, especially during challenging contexts, and the mediating role of children's socio-emotional outcomes during elementary school in the link between maternal autonomy support during the preschool years and children's later socio-emotional outcomes during preadolescence. The results highlight the contextual specificity of the relationship between maternal autonomy support and children's later socio-emotional development and reveal one of the mechanisms through which the effect of early childhood parental autonomy support on children's later socio-emotional development is carried forward over time.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 01/2015; 44(8). DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0247-z · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This investigation evaluated a multilevel model of dispositional and environmental factors contributing to the development of internalizing problems from preschool-age to school-age. In a sample of 375 families (185 daughters, 190 sons) drawn from three independent samples, preschoolers' behavioral inhibition, cortisol and gender were examined as moderators of the links between mothers' negative parenting behavior, negative emotional characteristics, and socioeconomic status when children were 3.95 years, and their internalizing problems when they were 8.34 years. Children's dispositional characteristics moderated all associations between these environmental factors and mother-reported internalizing problems in patterns that were consistent with either diathesis-stress or differential-susceptibility models of individual-environment interaction, and with gender models of developmental psychopathology. Greater inhibition and lower socioeconomic status were directly predictive of more teacher reported internalizing problems. These findings highlight the importance of using multilevel models within a bioecological framework to understand the complex pathways through which internalizing difficulties develop.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective This study examined whether parenting, specifically parental support, structure, and behavioral control, predicted early
childhood health care use and moderated the negative effects of socioeconomic disadvantage. Methods A sample of 250 parent–child dyads from a longitudinal intergenerational research program participated. Results Greater parental support was associated with increased rates of nonemergency care and a higher ratio of outpatient to emergency
room (ER) services, a pattern reflecting better health and service use. Support also moderated the negative effects of disadvantaged
family background. Greater behavioral control by parents predicted lower rates of both nonemergency care and ER visits. Structured
parenting and behavioral control were associated with lower rates of respiratory illness. Conclusions This study highlights the importance of considering parenting practices when examining variations in early childhood health
and health care, and the relevance of parental behavior in designing interventions for high-risk populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Socioeconomic status (SES) predicts well-being throughout the lifespan. SES is relative stable across generations, but some socio-historical contexts may facilitate upward social mobility. For example, the Quiet Revolution occurring in the province of Qubec in the 1960s made higher education more affordable and accessible. Who benefited from this opportunity? According to the interactionist perspective (Conger & Donnellan, 2007), upward mobility should be explained by interactions between parents’ (G1) and children’s (G2) characteristics. We hypothesize that socially and academically competent children will experience upward mobility even if they are from lower-SES background, and that children from relatively higher-SES background will experience upward mobility even if they are less socially or academically competent than their peers.
Method: In 1976–1978, 4109 children attending Grades 1, 4, or 7 in French-speaking schools from low-SES neighborhoods in Montreal (Qubec, Canada) were screened, and 1770 were recruited. Parents (G1) reported on their education and occupation. Children’s (G2) social behavior was measured with peer nominations of likeability, withdrawal, and aggression (PEI, Pekarik et al., 1976). School boards provided G2 standardized academic achievement scores. We retained a representative subsample of 503 G2 participants until adulthood (M age = 36.95 years), at which time they reported on their education and occupation. Average years education went up from 9.53 (G1) to 12.40 (G2). G1 and G2 neighborhood risk came from census tract data.
Results: Our path analysis fit the data well (CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00; χ2 (22) = 18.06, p < .70). G1 SES (education, occupational prestige, neighborhood risk) predicted G2 SES through associations with G2 likeability and academic competence, and through G2 educational attainment. Regression analyses revealed significant interactions. Among children born to lower-SES parents, those who were more academically competent reached higher education than their less competent peers. Still, academically talented children from relatively higher-SES families surpassed equally competent peers from lower-SES backgrounds. Aggressive G2 participants failed to benefit from the opportunities provided by higher-SES parents to reach higher education. Withdrawal impeded on the ability of lower-SES boys to reach higher education, but it promoted lower-SES girls’ educational opportunities.
Conclusion: Social mobility is influenced by a combination of G1 and G2 factors. Governmental policies to fight poverty should support children’s academic competence, and target familial risk factors associated with lower SES in parents (e.g., lack of trust in benefits of higher education; difficulty to help children with schoolwork).
Society for Prevention Research 22nd Annual Meeting 2013; 05/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contact behaviours such as touch, have been shown to be influential channels of nonverbal communication between mothers and infants. While existing research has examined the communicative roles of maternal or infant touch in isolation, mutual touch, whereby touching behaviours occur simultaneously between mothers and their infants, has yet to be examined. The present study was designed to investigate mutual touch during face-to-face interactions between mothers and their 5½-month-old fullterm (n=40), very low birth weight/preterm (VLBW/preterm; n=40) infants, and infants at psychosocial risk (n=41). Objectives were to examine: (1) how the quantitative and qualitative aspects of touch employed by mothers and their infants varied across the normal periods of the still-face (SF) procedure, and (2) how these were associated with risk status. Mutual touch was systematically coded using the mother-infant touch scale. Interactions were found to largely consist of mutual touch and one-sided touch plus movement, highlighting that active touching is pervasive during mother-infant interactions. Consistent with the literature, while the SF period did not negatively affect the amount of mutual touch engaged in for mothers and their fullterm infants and mothers and their infants at psychosocial risk, it did for mothers and their VLBW/preterm infants. Together, results illuminate how both mothers and infants participate in shaping and co-regulating their interactions through the use of touch and underscore the contribution of examining the influence of birth status on mutual touch.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined depressogenic thinking and shame proneness as factors in the development of internalizing problems in a longitudinal sample of 174 children (99 boys, 75 girls). At 7.6-9.4 years of age (Time 1), mothers assessed general internalizing problems in their children and depressogenic thinking, shame proneness, and anxiety were assessed by child self report. At 10.2-11.8 years of age (Time 2), mothers reassessed internalizing problems, and children reported their anxiety and depression. At 12.3-13.1 years of age (Time 3), children who had been high on any Time 2 measure of internalizing problems were selected for assessment of anxiety and depressive disorders. Depressogenic thinking and shame were significantly correlated and predicted subsequent problems. Depressogenic thinking predicted internalizing problems and anxious and depressive symptoms. Shame directly predicted boys' depressive symptoms, and indirectly predicted boys' general internalizing problems and girls' social anxiety. Depressive disorders in early adolescence were predicted specifically by shame. Findings suggest that both shame and depressive thinking contribute to the development of children's internalizing problems.
Child Psychiatry and Human Development 11/2013; 46(2). DOI:10.1007/s10578-013-0416-4 · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Successful academic performance during adolescence is a key predictor of lifetime achievement, including occupational and social success. The present study investigated the important transition from primary to secondary schooling during early adolescence, when academic performance among youth often declines. The goal of the study was to understand how risk factors, specifically lower family resources and male gender, threaten academic success following this "critical transition" in schooling. The study involved a longitudinal examination of the predictors of academic performance in grades 7-8 among 127 (56 % girls) French-speaking Quebec (Canada) adolescents from lower-income backgrounds. As hypothesized based on transition theory, hierarchical regression analyses showed that supportive parenting and specific academic, social and behavioral competencies (including spelling ability, social skills, and lower levels of attention problems) predicted success across this transition among at-risk youth. Multiple-mediation procedures demonstrated that the set of compensatory factors fully mediated the negative impact of lower family resources on academic success in grades 7-8. Unique mediators (social skills, spelling ability, supportive parenting) also were identified. In addition, the "gender gap" in performance across the transition could be attributed statistically to differences between boys and girls in specific competencies observed prior to the transition, as well as differential parenting (i.e., support from mother) towards girls and boys. The present results contribute to our understanding of the processes by which established risk factors, such as low family income and gender impact development and academic performance during early adolescence. These "transitional" processes and subsequent academic performance may have consequences across adolescence and beyond, with an impact on lifetime patterns of achievement and occupational success.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 08/2013; 42(9). DOI:10.1007/s10964-013-9987-4 · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neighborhood-level and individual-level variables from childhood and adulthood were examined in relation to alcoholism in adulthood. In 1976–1978, children from working-class neighborhood schools in Montreal, Canada participated in a study examining the outcomes of childhood behaviors. At this time, peer nominations of childhood aggression were collected. In 1999–2003, these participants were contacted during mid-adulthood (N = 676) and asked to complete measures of perception of neighborhood disorder as well as a structured clinical interview assessing their lifetime history of alcoholism. Measures of participants’ neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) from adolescence and adulthood were retrieved from Canadian census tract data and included in the model. Findings supported an association between neighborhood disorder and alcoholism, such that perceived disorder mediated the association between census-based assessments of neighborhood SES and alcoholism, but not when examined within a larger model. These findings supported the importance of the individual's interpretation of their environment in relation to alcoholism.
Journal of Community Psychology 03/2013; 41(2-2):156-174. DOI:10.1002/jcop.21520 · 0.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Self and peer perceptions of childhood aggression, social withdrawal and likeability were compared as predictors of adult personality factors from the Five Factor Model. Peer perceived aggression, self perceived social withdrawal and peer and self perceived likeability in childhood were anticipated to be the most closely linked with later personality factors. Participants, initially recruited from grade school in 1976–1978, completed self and peer evaluations of these childhood behaviours. In 1999–2003, participants, now in mid-adulthood, completed the NEO-FFI. Self perceived social withdrawal was associated with lower levels of Conscientiousness, but peer perceived social withdrawal was associated with lower levels of adult Extraversion. Peer perceived likeability was associated with higher levels of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, and lower levels of Neuroticism. Overall, these findings supported the use of peer, rather than self ratings of childhood behaviour patterns in the prediction of adult personality outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Developmental patterns in conservation skills were examined in four samples of children (N = 390) 4 to 11 years of age. Judgments of conservation and explanations were elicited for seven conservation tasks assessing concepts from number to volume (adapted from Goldschmid & Bentler 1968a). Across all ages and samples, judgment-only and judgment-plus-explanation scores were highly correlated. Explanations provided little additional information on level of conservation skill. The greatest increment in conservation skill occurred between kindergarten and Grade 1, with some further increase between Grades 1 and 3 or 4. Order of acquisition of number, area, and volume were consistent in all samples, with number easiest and volume hardest. Conservation of substance, discontinuous quantity, continuous quantity and weight were always more difficult than area and easier than volume, but there was no evidence of consistent differences in difficulty among the matter and weight tasks. These findings confirm that the acquisition of conservation skills is not discrete, but that the gradual process of acquisition reflects a specifiable, orderly sequence.
The Journal of Genetic Psychology 09/2012; 149(4):425-439. DOI:10.1080/00221325.1988.10532170 · 0.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fathers' absence is a pattern that shows intergenerational continuity, most notably within disadvantaged populations. The process whereby this pattern is repeated across generations is not well understood. Using data from the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, the authors investigated pathways between fathers' absence in 1 generation and the experience of fathers' absence by their children. The current sample included 386 socioeconomically at‐risk individuals across 2 waves of data collection: (a) when they were children and (b) when they were adults with their own children. Analyses based on structural equation modeling revealed that men whose fathers were absent when they were children were more likely to become absent fathers, and women whose fathers were absent when they were children were more likely to have children with absent partners. Indirect pathways between fathers' absence in 2 generations through aggression, education, and substance abuse were illustrated for women. These findings add to the literature suggesting that fathers' absence during childhood has intergenerational effects.
Journal of Marriage and Family 06/2012; 74(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00962.x · 3.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluated a comprehensive model of factors associated with internalizing problems (IP) in early childhood, hypothesizing direct, mediated, and moderated pathways linking child temperamental inhibition, maternal overcontrol and rejection, and contextual stressors to IP. In a novel approach, three samples were integrated to form a large sample (N = 500) of Canadian children (2–6 years; M = 3.95 years; SD = .80). Items tapping into the same constructs across samples were used to create parallel measures of inhibited temperament, maternal positive, critical, and punitive parenting, maternal negative emotionality, family socioeconomic and structural stressors, and child's IP. Multiple-groups structural equation modeling indicated that associations were invariant across samples and did not differ for boys and girls. Child inhibition, less positive and more critical parenting, maternal negative emotionality, and family socioeconomic disadvantage were found to have direct associations with IP. In addition, maternal negative emotionality was associated with IP through more critical parenting, and both maternal negative emotionality and socioeconomic stress were associated with IP through less positive parenting. Results highlight the multiple independent and cumulative risk factors for early IP and demonstrate the power of integrating data across developmental studies.
Review of Social Development 04/2012; 21(2):229 - 253. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2011.00629.x · 1.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neighborhood environment, both actual and perceived, is associated with health outcomes; however, much of this research has relied on self-reports of these outcomes.
The association between both perception of neighborhood disorder and neighborhood poverty (as measured by postal code socioeconomic status) was examined in the prediction of health service usage.
Participants in a longitudinal project were contacted in mid-adulthood regarding their perception of neighborhood disorder. Their census tract data and medical records were drawn from government databases.
Higher perceived neighborhood disorder was significantly associated with higher levels of total health services usage, lifestyle illnesses, specialist visits, and emergency room visits, even when neighborhood poverty and individual-level variables were controlled for. Neighborhood poverty was only significantly associated with fewer total hospitalizations.
Higher perceived neighborhood disorder was associated with higher rates of health service usage, suggesting further investigation into the mechanisms by which perceptions of the environment influences health outcomes.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine 04/2012; 43(2):162-72. DOI:10.1007/s12160-011-9310-0 · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the contribution of maternal childhood histories of aggression and social withdrawal to the prediction of mother–child social problem solving in the next generation. Fifty‐seven women (M = 37.32 years), previously rated (on a version of the pupil evaluation inventory) by their peers during childhood on measures of aggression and withdrawal, discussed conflicts with their 9‐ to 13‐year‐old children. Problem‐defining statements, solutions, and resolution strategies were coded using an observational measure developed by the authors. Maternal childhood histories of aggression and withdrawal predicted poorly sophisticated solutions in both mothers and children as well as antisocial solutions in children. Histories of withdrawal predicted solitary solutions in children as well as less guidance and structure during decision making. Findings suggest that mothers who were withdrawn, and those aggressive and withdrawn in childhood, display less sophisticated problem solving, which may be mirrored in children. Results have implications for the development of aggressive and withdrawn girls into parenthood and highlight a potential pathway for the transfer of risk.
Review of Social Development 02/2012; 21(1). DOI:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2011.00600.x · 1.56 Impact Factor