To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This study investigated the prospective pathways of children's exposure to interparental violence (EIPV) in early and middle childhood and externalizing behavior in middle childhood and adolescence as developmental predictors of dating violence perpetration and victimization at ages 23 and 26 years. Participants (N = 168) were drawn from a longitudinal study of low-income families. Path analyses examined whether timing or continuity of EIPV predicted dating violence and whether timing or continuity of externalizing behavior mediated these pathways. Results indicated that EIPV in early childhood directly predicted perpetration and victimization at age 23. There were significant indirect effects from EIPV to dating violence through externalizing behavior in adolescence and life stress at age 23. Independent of EIPV, externalizing behavior in middle childhood also predicted dating violence through externalizing behavior in adolescence and life stress at age 23, but this pathway stemmed from maltreatment. These results highlight that the timing of EIPV and both the timing and the continuity of externalizing behavior are critical risks for the intergenerational transmission of dating violence. The findings support a developmental perspective that negative early experiences and children's externalizing behavior are powerful influences for dating violence in early adulthood.
Evidence for the intergenerational transmission of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is documented in the literature, although the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Attachment theory provides a framework for elucidating the ways in which maternal PTSD may increase offspring PTSD vulnerability. The current study utilized two independent prospective data sets to test the hypotheses that (a) maternal PTSD increases the probability of developing an insecure mother–infant attachment relationship and (b) an insecure mother–infant attachment relationship increases the risk of developing PTSD following trauma exposure in later life. In the first study of urban, primarily low-income ethnic/racial minority mothers and infants (N = 45 dyads), elevated maternal PTSD symptoms at 6 months were associated with increased risk for an insecure, particularly disorganized, mother–infant attachment relationship at 13 months. In the second birth cohort of urban, low-income mothers and children (N = 96 dyads), insecure (avoidant or resistant) attachment in infancy was associated in a dose–response manner with increased lifetime risk for a diagnosis of PTSD by adolescence. A history of disorganized attachment in infancy predicted severity of PTSD symptoms, including reexperiencing, avoidance, hyperarousal, and total symptoms, at 17.5 years. In both studies, associations between attachment and PTSD were not attributable to numerous co-occurring risk factors. The findings suggest that promoting positive mother–child relationships in early development, particularly in populations at high risk for trauma exposure, may reduce the incidence of PTSD.
This investigation examined transactional relations across contextual strain, parenting quality, and child adjustment in 209 mothers and children at 24, 42, and 72 months of age. Independent ratings of mothers' stressful life events, social support, and relationship quality provided an objective measure of maternal contextual strain. Observers evaluated parenting quality during parent–child interactions at each time point. Child regulatory functioning during laboratory tasks at 24 and 42 months was evaluated by independent observers based on both behavioral (e.g., noncompliance, distractibility) and emotional (e.g., frustration, anger) indices. At 72 months, teachers reported on children's externalizing behaviors, and children completed objective measures of academic achievement. Nested path analyses were used to evaluate increasingly complex models of influence, including transactional relations between child and parent, effects from contextual strain to parenting and child adaptation, and reciprocal effects from child and parent behavior to contextual strain. Over and above stability within each domain and cross-sectional cross-domain covariation, significant paths emerged from maternal contextual strain to subsequent child adjustment. Bidirectional relations between parenting and child adjustment were especially prominent among boys. These findings counter unidirectional models of parent-mediated contextual effects by highlighting the direct influences of contextual strain and parent–child transactions on early childhood behavioral and academic adjustment, respectively.
The antecedents and developmental course of borderline personality disorder symptoms were examined prospectively from infancy to adulthood using longitudinal data from a risk sample (N = 162). Borderline personality disorder symptom counts were derived from the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders diagnostic interview at age 28 years. Correlational analyses confirmed expected relations between borderline symptoms and contemporary adult disturbance (e.g., self-injurious behavior, dissociative symptoms, drug use, relational violence) as well as maltreatment history. Antecedent correlational and regression analyses revealed significant links between borderline symptoms in adulthood and endogenous (i.e., temperament) and environmental (e.g., attachment disorganization, parental hostility) history in early childhood and disturbance across domains of child functioning (e.g., attention, emotion, behavior, relationship, self-representation) in middle childhood/early adolescence. Process analyses revealed a significant mediating effect of self-representation on the relation between attachment disorganization on borderline symptoms. The findings are discussed within a developmental psychopathology framework in which disturbance in self-processes is constructed through successive transactions between the individual and environment.
Resilience, the development of competence despite severe or pervasive adversity, is examined using data from a longitudinal study of high-risk children and families. The study is guided by an organizationaldevelopmental perspective. Resilience is conceived not as a childhood given, but as a capacity that develops over time in the context of person-environment interactions. Factors related to resilience in our study are examined in terms of this transactional process. From our studies, we have found emotionally responsive caregiving to mediate the effects of high-risk environments and to promote positive change for children who have experienced poverty, family stress, and maltreatment. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Continuity in individual patterns of adaptation and maladaptation was examined across the years from infancy to preadolescence. Forty-seven preadolescent subjects from a 15-year longitudinal study of children at risk for developmental problems participated. Subjects were intensively observed in a 4-week summer daycamp at age 10. Children were then rated on scales of agency, social skill, dependency, positive and negative affect, and ranked on emotional health. In addition, Q-sorts were performed to obtain an overall description of the child's personality, and observations were made of child-adult interactions. Significant differences were found between secure and insecure attachment groups on molar measures of adaptation including social competence and ego resiliency. Children with anxious histories were also rated higher on dependency and were found to be more frequently involved in interactions with adults than children with secure histories. In addition, differences were found in the patterns of adaptation exhibited by children with the two types of anxious attachment history. Children with resistant histories were found to be more often the recipients of adult-initiated contact, specifically support and nurturance, than were children with avoidant attachment histories. Comparison of overall personality style through correlations of composite counselor Q-sorts identified children with secure and resistant attachment histories as most like other children with the same attachment history. Results for avoidant children did not achieve significance. Patterns of contemporary child behavior revealed through counselor Q-sorts were also found to be related to theoretically derived predictions from patterns observed in infancy.
From teachers' rating in kindergarten through third grade, mutually exclusive groups of internalized, externalized, and mixed behavior problems were examined as pathways to three groups of psychiatric diagnosis in later adolescence: depression/anxiety, conduct/oppositional defiant, and other disorders. In looking both forward and backwards, the relation between behavior problems in the early school years, regardless of type, and psychopathology in adolescence, regardless of diagnosis, was very strong. The relations between type of early problems and specific outcomes were weak. The findings provided support for both the constructs of multifinality and equifinality; however the nature of the pathways differed somewhat by disorder. There was a substantial amount of multifinality (dispersion of outcomes) for the early internalizing pathway. There was less multifinality for the externalizing pathway, in that there was greater correspondence between early externalizing and later antisocial outcomes than for the internalizing pathway and depressed/anxious outcomes.
Theory and research on parent-infant attachment and on adult representations of past relationships suggest several possible themes and approaches for therapeutic intervention with parent-infant dyads. These include strategies aimed at increasing the parent's insight into the connection between past and present relationships and enhancing the parent's understanding of the child's needs and feelings, as well as the use of the therapeutic alliance to help the parent move toward more positive working models of self and others. Project STEEP (Steps Toward Effective, Enjoyable Parenting), an ongoing study of the effectiveness of preventive intervention with new mothers, provides one model of therapeutic intervention built on attachment theory and research.
Researchers and practitioners working in the area of child maltreatment have been frustrated by the lack of a concise definition of maltreatment, especially psychological maltreatment. The study of child abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and other forms of maltreatment has been impeded by the failure to establish a commonly accepted definition. Numerous definitions have been developed at different times, for very different purposes and by professionals from many different disciplines, but as Giovannoni (1989) noted, their only common feature is that they are vague and ambiguous. Not surprisingly, the research findings from the field are as varied as the heterogeneous samples of maltreating individuals being investigated. The lack of an operational definition of maltreatment greatly limits the generalizability of the research findings.
Using longitudinal data, a subsample of 37 high-risk children whose mothers were observed to be intrusive in their interactions with their 6-month-old infants in feeding and play situations were compared to 145 children from the same environmental risk sample. The children of mothers judged to be intrusive were doing poorly academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally in first and second grades. The findings were robust even after covarying out the effects of a maternal social/affective interaction factor, IQ, and stressful life events experienced by the family. The relation between an intrusive style of caretaking in infancy and child maladaptation in the early school years is viewed as support for a mutual regulation model of social engagement.
Children who participate in the Mother-Child Project, a longitudinal study of high-risk children, were giver projective storytelling task during their sixth-grade year. Story sets were coded for relationship themes like peer acceptance and problem solving, and responses were compared between groups identified based on pas maltreatment. The maltreatment group included 43 children who were identified as having been physically abused, sexually abused, or neglected or having psychologically unavailable care. A control group of 53 children from this high-risk sample was identified as having received adequate care. The remaining participants whose care was questionable were not included in this study. Based on quantitative analyses using a factor measuring relationship expectations and controlling for IQ and socioeconoraic status, the maltreate group told stories significantly more negative compared to the control group. Findings are introduced and discussed in terms of attachment theory and related work addressing the mental representations of maltreated children. In particular, it is proposed that, based on early maltreatment experiences, children acquire internal working models of themselves as unworthy and of others as unavailable. In subsequent relationship situations they would be constricted in cognitively processing events, have difficulty regulating their own emotions, an employ processes of defensive exclusion (e.g. projection, introjection, displacement, splitting, preoccupatioi idealization) to manage their distress feelings.
In conjunction with prospective ratings of child maltreatment (i.e., sexual abuse, physical abuse, and physical neglect) and measures of dissociation and somatization, this study examined prospective pathways between child maltreatment and nonsuicidal, direct self-injurious behavior (SIB; e.g., cutting, burning, self-hitting). Ongoing participants in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (N = 164; 83 males, 81 females) completed a semistructured interview about SIB when they were 26 years old. SIB emerged as a heterogeneous and prominent phenomenon in this low-income, mixed-gender, community sample. Child sexual abuse predicted recurrent injuring (i.e., three or more events; n = 13), whereas child physical abuse appeared more salient for intermittent injuring (i.e., one to two events; n = 13). Moreover, these relations appeared largely independent of risk factors that have been associated with child maltreatment and/or SIB, including child cognitive ability, socioeconomic status, maternal life stress, familial disruption, and childhood exposure to partner violence. Dissociation and somatization were related to SIB and, to a lesser degree, child maltreatment. However, only dissociation emerged as a significant mediator of the observed relation between child sexual abuse and recurrent SIB. The findings are discussed within a developmental psychopathology framework in which SIB is viewed as a compensatory regulatory strategy in posttraumatic adaptation.
This study examined the etiology and course of anxiety symptoms from
infancy through adolescence in a longitudinal high-risk community sample.
One hundred fifty-five subjects were assessed using a variety of
observational, projective, and objective measures. Results of path
analyses revealed the following: (a) anxiety symptoms showed moderate
stability during childhood and adolescence; (b) heightened neonatal
biobehavioral reactivity and poor regulation predicted emotion regulation
difficulties in preschool, which predicted anxiety symptoms in childhood;
(c) developmental incompetence in childhood predicted anxiety symptoms in
preadolescence, and anxiety symptoms in preadolescence predicted
incompetence in adolescence; (d) insecure attachment relationships in
infancy predicted negative peer relationship representations in
preadolescence, and these representations predicted anxiety symptoms in
adolescence; (e) compared to males, females showed similar rates of
anxiety symptoms in childhood but greater and more stable rates in
adolescence; however, males and females showed similar patterns of
association between risk factors and anxiety symptoms across childhood and
adolescence; and (f) the model tested was specific in predicting anxiety
symptoms and not psychopathology in general. The results support a
developmental model of the etiology and maintenance of anxiety symptoms in
childhood and highlight factors to consider in efforts to prevent and
treat childhood anxiety.This article is
based on a doctoral dissertation completed by the first author. The
research was supported by a Philanthropic Educational Organization
Scholarship to the first author and by funds provided by grants to the
second author from the Maternal and Child Health Service (MC-R-270416);
the William T. Grant Foundation, New York; and the National Institute of
Mental Health (MH-40864). This study is currently supported by the
National Institute of Mental Health (MH-40864-18). The authors thank
Manfred van Dulmen for the invaluable statistical guidance he provided in
the preparation of this manuscript and the families and teachers whose
generation donation of time made this project possible.
This longitudinal study examined antecedents of substance use behavior
among 176 (53% male) adolescents. Adolescents were classified as (a)
abstainers (n = 19), (b) experimenters (n = 65), (c)
at-risk youth (n = 63), and (d) abusers (n = 29) based
on their reported substance use behavior at age 17.5. Parental behavior,
peer competence, and problem behavior, measured from early childhood
through age 16, were examined as predictors of substance use patterns.
Multinomial logistic regression models revealed that early maternal
hostility, externalizing behavior problems in first grade and at age 16,
internalizing behavior in first grade and at age 16, and parental
monitoring at age 16 significantly differentiated substance use groups.
The study provides evidence that experiences occurring early in
development, in addition to those that occur later in development, can
play a pivotal role in setting the stage for late adolescent substance use
behavior.Preparation of this work and the
research described herein were supported by a grant from the National
Institute of Mental Health (R01MH40864-18). We acknowledge the
participants and their families for their continued participation in this
research. Special thanks to Judy Cook, W. Andrew Collins, and the numerous
graduate and undergraduates who made this project possible.
Foster care is a protective intervention designed to provide out of
home placement to children living in at-risk home environments. This study
employs prospective longitudinal data (N = 189) to investigate
the effects of foster care on the development of child behavior and
psychological functioning taking into account baseline adaptation prior to
placement and socioeconomic status at the time of placement. Comparisons
were made among three groups: children who experienced foster care, those
who were maltreated but remained in the home, and children who had not
experienced foster care or maltreatment despite their similarly at-risk
demographic characteristics. In the current sample, children placed in out
of home care exhibited significant behavior problems in comparison to
children who received adequate care, and using the same pre- and
postplacement measure of adaptation, foster care children showed elevated
levels of behavior problems following release from care. Similarly,
children placed into unfamiliar foster care showed higher levels of
internalizing problems compared with children reared by maltreating
caregivers, children in familiar care, and children who received adequate
caregiving. Findings suggest that outcomes related to foster care may vary
with type of care and beyond the effects associated with maltreatment
history, baseline adaptation, and socioeconomic status.Preparation of the work and the research described herein were
supported by a National Institute of Mental Health grant (MN 40864) to
Although the turning points theory posits that the successful
engagement of the romantic and work domains in young adulthood
represents an important opportunity for disrupting antisocial pathways,
others have recently speculated that such turning points may be most
applicable to the majority of antisocial youth who begin offending in
adolescence (Adolescence-Onset [AO]), rather than those who
begin early in childhood and persist (Early-Onset/Persistent
[EOP]). This study was designed (a) to attempt replication of
recent evidence that AOs demonstrate problem behaviors intermediate to
EOP and Never Antisocial youth in young adulthood, which was confirmed;
and (b) to examine the correlates of lower levels of antisocial
offending among AOs and EOPs in the transition to adulthood. As
expected, AOs were more likely than EOPs to desist by age 23.
Nonetheless, positive work and romantic involvement between the ages of
21 and 23 were significantly associated with less externalizing
problems for EOPs, but not AOs. In addition, illicit substance use and
deviant peer association proved to be associated with externalizing
problems at age 23, irrespective of the patterning of young
adults' antisocial behavior in childhood and adolescence. Results
suggest that the unique opportunities available in the transition to
adulthood may hold particular promise for youth with persistently
troubled early histories.The authors
acknowledge financial support for this research from the National
Institutes of Mental Health to Byron Egeland, L. Alan Sroufe, and W.
Andrew Collins (MH40864).
Previous research suggests an association between partner violence and child behavior problems. However, methodological shortcomings have precluded the formation of directional conclusions. These limitations include failure to control for the effects of child physical abuse and general life stress, employment of nonrepresentative samples from battered women's shelters, and reliance on a single contemporaneous reporter, usually the mother, for information on both independent and dependent measures. This study used prospective, longitudinal data (N = 155) and multiple informants to examine the relation between maternal reports of partner violence in the home and teacher- and youth-report ratings of concurrent and prospective child behavior problems. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to control for the effects of child physical abuse, child physical neglect, socioeconomic status, child cognitive ability, and life stress. The contribution of partner violence to child behavior problems was confirmed for boys' (n = 81) externalizing problems and girls' (n = 74) internalizing problems. Child developmental status at the time of exposure further influenced these relations. For boys, behavior problems in middle childhood were most strongly related to contemporaneous partner violence, whereas behavior problems among both boys and girls at age 16 were most strongly related to partner violence exposure during the preschool years.
Tuppett M. Yates, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN,
Byron Egeland, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN,
L. Alan Sroufe, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives
(Maya Angelou, 1969)
A central tenet of contemporary developmental psychopathology is that our understandings of normative and abnormal development mutually inform one another (Cicchetti, 1990, 1993; Cicchetti & Cohen, 1995; Sroufe & Rutter, 1984). Historically, however, research has focused on the determinants of psychopathology and maladaptation to the relative exclusion of elucidating factors that contribute to the initiation and maintenance of adaptive developmental pathways. More recently, a strong and growing literature has emerged identifying factors that enable individuals to achieve adaptive developmental outcomes despite adversity.
The study of risk and resilience derived from the observation that some individuals in populations exposed to incontrovertible adversity nevertheless achieve adaptive developmental outcomes (e.g., Garmezy, 1974; Murphy & Moriarty, 1976; Rutter, 1979; Sameroff & Seifer, 1983; Werner & Smith, 1992). These individuals exemplify resilience, “the process of, capacity for, or outcome of successful adaptation despite challenging or threatening circumstances” (Masten, Best, & Garmezy, 1990, p. 426). Over the past 25 years, research on a variety of at-risk populations has identified factors that moderate the relation between risk and competence, namely, protective and vulnerability factors (Masten & Coatsworth, 1998). More recently, however, increasing attention has been directed toward identifying and refining the methodological and theoretical frameworks within which resilience is conceptualized and studied in order to clarify the processes that underlie adaptive development in the context of adversity (e.g., Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000; Sameroff, 2000).
Antecedents of depressive symptomatology in childhood and adolescence were examined in a
prospective longitudinal study of at-risk youth (n = 168) from families of lower
socioeconomic status. Relations between family context factors, maternal depressive symptoms,
and depressive symptoms in childhood and adolescence were examined, with a focus on early
family relationship factors rarely available for analysis in longitudinal data sets. Results suggest the
possibility of etiological differences between depressive symptoms in childhood and in
adolescence. Depressive symptomatology in childhood was predicted by the overall family
context. Cumulative effects of maternal depressive symptomatology, early care lacking in
emotional supportiveness, abuse, and family stressors were observed. Depressive symptomatology
in adolescence, on the other hand, was specifically associated with maternal depression and early
care lacking in emotional supportiveness. Moreover, an intriguing sex difference emerged:
maternal depressive symptomatology was strongly associated with depressive symptomatology in
adolescence for females, but for males supportive early care appeared more relevant.
Moffitt's theory regarding two types of adolescent antisocial behavior was
investigated using a prospective, longitudinal study of normal and abnormal development in a
primarily low socioeconomic status, ethnically diverse sample. Results supported the presence of
an early-onset/persistent (EOP) group and an adolescence-onset (AO) group. Groups were
most reliably and significantly distinguished by indices of socioemotional history within the first
3 years, but no significant differences were found on early measures of temperament or
neuropsychological functioning. EOPs scored significantly lower than other groups on measures
of neuropsychological functioning only during late childhood and adolescence,
suggesting that the declines in verbal functioning that have been so reliably found in this and
other samples of early-starting antisocial adolescents are progressive and consequent to adverse
experience. In adolescence, AOs were significantly more likely to report high levels of
internalizing symptoms and life stress, suggesting that AO antisocial behavior is not a benign
phenomenon. Implications of these findings for etiologic theories of adolescent antisocial
behavior are discussed.