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The predictive significance of early caregiving experiences for symptoms of psychopathology through midadolescence: Enduring or transient effects?

  • John D. Haltigan (a1), Glenn I. Roisman (a1) and R. Chris Fraley (a1)


A fundamental question in the discipline of developmental psychopathology is whether early interpersonal experiences influence maladaptation in enduring or transient ways. We address this issue by applying a structural modeling approach developed by us to examine data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development on maternal sensitivity in the first 3 years of life and its association with symptoms of psychopathology through age 15. Results suggest that there may be enduring effects of early caregiving experiences on symptomatology as rated by teachers, although such effects were not found for maternal report. Additional analyses indicated that enduring associations found via teacher report could not be fully accounted for by continuity in caregiving experiences or by early contextual adversity.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Glenn I. Roisman, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, 603 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820; E-mail:


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