Poverty-related adversity and emotion regulation predict internalizing behavior problems among low-income children ages 8-11

C. Cybele Raver, Amanda L. Roy, Emily Pressler, Alexandra M. Ursache, Dana Charles McCoy

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Abstract

The current study examines the additive and joint roles of chronic poverty-related adversity and three candidate neurocognitive processes of emotion regulation (ER)-including: (i) attention bias to threat (ABT); (ii) accuracy of facial emotion appraisal (FEA); and (iii) negative affect (NA)-for low-income, ethnic minority children's internalizing problems (N = 338). Children were enrolled in the current study from publicly funded preschools, with poverty-related adversity assessed at multiple time points from early to middle childhood. Field-based administration of neurocognitively-informed assessments of ABT, FEA and NA as well as parental report of internalizing symptoms were collected when children were ages 8-11, 6 years after baseline. Results suggest that chronic exposure to poverty-related adversity from early to middle childhood predicted higher levels of internalizing symptomatology when children are ages 8-11, even after controlling for initial poverty status and early internalizing symptoms in preschool. Moreover, each of the 3 hypothesized components of ER played an independent and statistically significant role in predicting children's parent-reported internalizing symptoms at the 6-year follow-up, even after controlling for early and chronic poverty-related adversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2017

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Keywords

  • Attention bias
  • Emotion regulation
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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