CHRONIC FAMILY ADVERSITY AND EARLY CHILD BEHAVIOR

PROBLEMS: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF LOW INCOME FAMILIES


Daniel S. Shaw* Joan I. Vondra**

Katherine Dowdell Hommerding* Kate Keenan* Marija Dunn**

University of Pittsburgh

 

*Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Center, 604 Old Engineering Hall, 4015 O'Hara Street, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

** Psychology in Education, School of Education, 5H21 Forbes Quadrangle Building, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Requests for reprints to: Daniel Shaw, Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Center, 604 Old Engineering Hall, 4015 O'Hara Street, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

 

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (1994) , 35, 1109-1122

Abstract

A beginning step in the prevention of child psychopathology is the identification of conditions associated with a disproportionately high incidence of behavior problems. Rutter and colleagues (1975a) have reported a dramatic increase in the probability of child adjustment difficulties as a function of multiple family stressors. However, few investigators have tested this association beginning in infancy. The present investigation examines this relationship at ages 1 and 2 with behavioral adjustment at age 3 among 100 low-income families. Broad support was found for the family adversity hypothesis, though sex differences were evident regarding individual correlates of problem behavior.