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Parenting, attention and externalizing problems: testing mediation longitudinally, repeatedly and reciprocally

Belsky, J; Fearon, RMP; Bell, B; (2007) Parenting, attention and externalizing problems: testing mediation longitudinally, repeatedly and reciprocally. J CHILD PSYCHOL PSYC , 48 (12) 1233 - 1242. 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01807.x.

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Abstract

Background: Building on prior work, this paper tests, longitudinally and repeatedly, the proposition that attentional. control processes mediate the effect of earlier parenting on later externalizing problems. Methods: Repeated independent measurements of all three constructs-observed parenting, computer-tested attentional control and adult-reported externalizing problems-were subjected to structural equation modeling using data from the large-scale American study of child care and youth development. Results: Structural equation modeling indicated (a) that greater maternal sensitivity at two different ages (54 months, similar to 6 years) predicted better attentional control on the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) of attention regulation two later ages (similar to 6/9 years); (2) that better attentional control at three different ages (54 months, similar to 6/9 years) predicted less teacher-reported externalizing problems at three later ages (similar to 6/8/10 years); and (3) that attentional control partially mediated the effect of parenting on externalizing problems at two different lags (i.e., 54 months -> similar to 6 years -> similar to 8 years; similar to 6 years -> similar to 9 years -> similar to 10 years), though somewhat more strongly for the first. Additionally, (4) some evidence of reciprocal effects of attentional processes on parenting emerged (54 months -> similar to 6 years; similar to 6 years -> similar to 8 years), but not of problem behavior on attention. Conclusions: Because attention control partially mediates the effects of parenting on externalizing problems, intervention efforts could target both parenting and attentional processes.

Type: Article
Title: Parenting, attention and externalizing problems: testing mediation longitudinally, repeatedly and reciprocally
DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01807.x
Keywords: parenting, sensitivity, attention, inhibition, externalizing problems, mediation, EFFORTFUL CONTROL, BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS, SELF-REGULATION, CHILD-CARE, ADJUSTMENT, SCHOOL, EMOTIONALITY, TEMPERAMENT, PREDICTION, ORIGINS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1331773
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