Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 13
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: October 2012

Chapter 28 - Measurement and Model Building in Studying the Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Child Development

from Part IV - Measurement


This chapter summarizes rates of maltreatment and discusses key theoretical models on the etiology of maltreatment. It proposes a model by which parent and child development may interact over time to increase risk for a maltreating environment. A maltreating environment is a complex system that is multiply determined. Two complementary theoretical models have contributed substantially to the field's understanding of the causes of maltreatment: Belsky's social-contextual process model and Cicchetti and colleagues' ecological-transactional model. The chapter reviews the literature that examines perpetrators' ages when they are most likely to commit abuse and neglect, and some of the reasons why developmental periods in parents' lives and their risk for psychopathology might be associated with risk for maltreatment. Finally, the chapter covers possible ways in which a maltreating environment is influenced by child characteristics over development, with a focus on child antisocial behavior.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO


Argyle, M. (1994). The psychology of social class. London: Routledge.
Block, J. (1971). Lives through time. Berkeley, CA: Bancroft Books.
Bornstein, M. H., & Bradley, R. H. (Eds.) (2003). Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bornstein, M. H., Hahn, C., Suwalsky, J. T. D., & Haynes, O. M. (2003). Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development: The Hollingshead Four-Factor Index of Social Status and the Socioeconomic Index of Occupations. In M. H. Bornstein, & R. H. Bradley (Eds.), Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development, pp. 29–82. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bradley, R. H., & Corwyn, R. F. (2003). Age and ethnic variations in family process mediators of SES. In M. H. Bornstein, & R. H. Bradley (Eds.), Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development, pp. 161–188. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bradley, R. H., & Corwyn, R. F. (2002). Socioeconomic status and child development. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 371–399.
Caspi, A. (2002). Social selection, social causation, and developmental pathways: Empirical strategies for better understanding how individuals and environments are linked across the life-course. In L. Pulkkinen, & A. Caspi (Eds.), Paths to successful development: Personality in the life course, pp. 281–301. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Caspi, A., Elder, G. H., & Bem, D. J. (1987). Moving against the world: Life-course patterns of explosive children. Developmental Psychology, 23, 308–313.
Caspi, A., Taylor, A., Moffitt, T. E., & Plomin, R. (2000). Neighborhood deprivation affects children’s mental health: Environmental risks identified in a genetic design. Psychological Science, 11, 338–342.
Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94, S95–S120.
Conger, R. D., & Donnellan, M. B. (2007). An interactionist perspective on the socioeconomic context of human development. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 177–199.
Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1994). Families in troubled times: Adapting to change in rural America. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
Conger, R. D., Wallace, L. E., Sun, Y., Simons, R. L., McLoyd, V. C., & Brody, G. H. (2002). Economic pressure in African American families: A replication and extension of the family stress model. Developmental Psychology, 38, 179–193.
Davis-Kean, P. E. (2005). The influence of parent education and family income on child achievement: The indirect role of parental expectations and the home environment. Journal of Family Psychology, 19, 294–304.
DeGarmo, D. S., Forgatch, M. S., & Martinez, Jr., C. R. (1999). Parenting of divorced mothers as a link between social status and boys’ academic outcomes: Unpacking the effects of socioeconomic status. Child Development, 70, 1231–1245.
Dodge, K. A., Pettit, G. S., & Bates, J. E. (1994). Socialization mediators of the relation between socioeconomic status and child conduct problems. Child Development, 65, 649–665.
Dohrenwend, B. P., & Dohrenwend, B. S. (1969). Social status and psychological disorder: A causal inquiry. New York: Wiley-Interscience A division of John Wiley & Sons.
Dollaghan, C. A., Campbell, T. F., Paradise, J. L., Feldman, H. M., Janosky, J. E., & Pitcairn, D. N. et al. (1999). Maternal education and measures of early speech and language. Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, 42, 1432–1443.
Dubow, E. F., Huesmann, L. R., Boxer, P., Pulkkinen, L., & Kokko, K. (2006). Middle childhood and adolescent contextual and personal predictors of adult educational and occupational outcomes: A mediational model in two countries. Developmental Psychology, 42, 937–949.
Duncan, G. J., & Magnuson, K. A. (2003). Off with Hollingshead: Socioeconomic resources, parenting, and child development. In M. H. Bornstein, & R. H. Bradley (Eds.), Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development, pp. 83–106. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Elder, G. H. (1974). Children of the Great Depression: Social change in life experience. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ensminger, M. E., & Fothergill, K. E. (2003). A decade of measuring SES: What it tells us and where to go from here. In M. H. Bornstein, & R. H. Bradley (Eds.), Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development, pp. 13–27. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Entwisle, D. R., & Astone, N. M. (1994). Some practical guidelines for measuring youth’s race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Child Development, 65, 1521–1540.
Feinstein, L., & Bynner, J. (2004). The importance of cognitive development in middle childhood for adulthood socioeconomic status, mental health, and problem behavior. Child Development, 75, 1329–1339.
Fernald, A. & Marchman, V. (2011). Causes and consequences of variability in early language learning. In I. Arnon & E. V. Clark (Eds.), Experience, variation and generalization: Learning a first language, pp. 181–202. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Galambos, N. L., Barker, E. T., & Krahn, H. J. (2006). Depression, self-esteem, and anger in emerging adulthood: Seven-year trajectories. Developmental Psychology, 42, 350–365.
Gershoff, E. T., Aber, J. L., Raver, C. C., & Lennon, M. C. (2007). Income is not enough: Incorporating material hardship into models of income associations with parenting and child development. Child Development, 78, 70–90.
Ginsburg, H. (1972). The myth of the deprived child: Poor children’s intellect and education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience in young American children. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life, and work in communities and classrooms. London: Cambridge University Press.
Hess, R. D. (1970). Social class and ethnic influences upon socialization. In P. H. Mussen (Ed.), Carmichael’s manual of child psychology, pp. 457–557 (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Hoff, E. (2003a). Causes and consequences of SES-related differences in parent-to-child speech. In M. H. Bornstein, & R. H. Bradley (Eds.), Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development, pp. 147–160. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hoff, E. (2003b). The specificity of environmental influence: Socioeconomic status affects early vocabulary development via maternal speech. Child Development, 74, 1368–1378.
Hoff, E. (2006). How social contexts support and shape language development. Developmental Review, 26, 55–88.
Hoff, E. (in press). Interpreting the early language trajectories of children from low SES and language minority homes: Implications for closing achievement gaps. Developmental Psychology.
Hoff, E., Laursen, B., & Tardif, T. (2002). Socioeconomic status and parenting. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 2. Biology and ecology of parenting, pp. 231–252 (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hoff-Ginsberg, E., & Tardif, T. (1995). Socioeconomic status and parenting. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 2. Ecology and biology of parenting, pp. 161–188. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hoffman, L. W. (2003). Methodological issues in studies of SES, parenting, and child development. In M. H. Bornstein, & R. H. Bradley (Eds.), Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development, pp. 125–143. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Kohn, M. L. (1963). Social class and parent-child relationships: An interpretation. American Journal of Sociology, 68, 471–480.
Kokko, K., & Pulkkinen, L. (2000). Aggression in childhood and long-term unemployment in adulthood: A cycle of maladaptation and some protective factors. Developmental Psychology, 36, 463–472.
Laursen, B. (1995). Variations in adolescent conflict and social interaction associated with maternal employment and family structure. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 18, 151–164.
Laursen, B. (2005a). Conflict between mothers and adolescents in single-mother, blended, and two-biological-parent families. Parenting: Science and Practice, 5, 347–370.
Laursen, B. (2005b). Dyadic and group perspectives on close relationships. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29, 97–100.
Laursen, B., & Collins, W. A. (2009). Parent-child relationships during adolescence. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed.): Vol. 2. Contextual influences on adolescent development, pp. 3–42. New York: Wiley.
Laursen, B., & Hoff, E. (2006). Special issue: Person-centered and variable-centered approaches to longitudinal data. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 52, Whole volume no. 3.
Leinonen, J. A., Solantaus, T. S., & Punamäki, R. (2002). The specific mediating paths between economic hardship and the quality of parenting. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26, 423–435.
Masten, A. S., & Coatsworth, J. D. (1998). The development of competence in favorable and unfavorable environments: Lessons from research on successful children. American Psychologist, 53, 205–220.
McLeod, J. D., & Kaiser, K. (2004). Childhood emotional and behavioral problems and educational attainment. American Sociological Review, 69, 636–658.
McLoyd, V. C. (1998). Socioeconomic disadvantage and child development. American Psychologist, 53, 185–204.
Miech, R. A., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E., Wright, B. R. E., & Silva, P. A. (1999). Low socioeconomic status and mental disorders: A longitudinal study of selection and causation during young adulthood. American Journal of Sociology, 104, 1096–1131.
Mueller, C. W., & Parcel, T. L. (1981). Measures of socioeconomic status: Alternatives and recommendations. Child Development, 52, 13–20.
Nagin, D. S. (2002). Group-based modeling of development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network. (2005). Duration and developmental timing of poverty and children’s cognitive and social development from birth through third grade. Child Development, 76, 795–810.
National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development. In J. P. Shonkoff, & D. A. Phillips (Eds.), Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Parke, R. D., Coltrane, S., Duffy, S., Buriel, R., Dennis, J., & Powers, J. et al. (2004). Economic stress, parenting, and child adjustment in Mexican American and European American families. Child Development, 75, 1632–1656.
Ripke, M. N. & Huston, A. C. (2006). Poverty: Consequences for children. In L. Balter, C. S. Tamis-LeMonda (Eds.), Child psychology: A handbook of contemporary issues, pp. 521–544 (2nd ed.). New York: Psychology Press.
Rowe, D. C., Jacobson, K. C., & Van den Oord, E. J. C. G. (1999). Genetic and environmental influences on vocabulary IQ: Parental education level as moderator. Child Development, 70, 1151–1162.
Rowe, D. C., & Rodgers, J. L. (1997). Poverty and behavior: Are environmental measures nature and nurture? Developmental Review, 17, 358–375.
Solantaus, T., Leinonen, J., & Punamäki, R. (2004). Children’s mental health in times of economic recession: Replication and extension of the family economic stress model in Finland. Developmental Psychology, 40, 412–429.
Tremblay, R. E. (1999). When children’s social development fails. In D. P. Keating, & C. Hertzman (Eds.), Developmental health and the wealth of nations: Social, biological, and educational dynamics, pp. 55–71. New York: Guilford Press.
Vasilyeva, M., Waterfall, H., & Huttenlocher, J. (2008). Emergence of syntax: Commonalities and differences across children. Developmental Science, 11, 84–97.
Wadsworth, M. E., & Achenbach, T. M. (2005). Explaining the link between low socioeconomic status and psychopathology: Testing two mechanisms of the social causation hypothesis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 1146–1153.
Wickrama, K. A. S., Conger, R. D., & Abraham, W. T. (2005). Early adversity and later health: The intergenerational transmission of adversity through mental disorder and physical illness. Journals of Gerontology: SERIES B, 60B, 125–129.
Williams, F. (Ed.) (1970). Language and poverty: Perspectives on a theme. Chicago: Markham Publishing Company.
Willms, J. D. (1999). Quality and inequality in children’s literacy: The effects of families, schools, and communities. In D. P. Keating, & C. Hertzman (Eds.), Developmental health and the wealth of nations: Social, biological, and educational dynamics, pp. 72–93. New York: Guilford Press.
Willms, J. D. (2003, February). Ten hypotheses about socioeconomic gradients and community differences in children’s developmental outcomes. Applied Research Branch, Strategic Policy, Human Resources Development Canada, Final Report.
Willms, J. D. (2006). Learning divides: Ten policy questions about the performance and equity of schools and schooling systems (No. 5). Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics.