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Longitudinal pathways between mental health difficulties and academic performance during middle childhood and early adolescence

Deighton, J; Humphrey, N; Belsky, J; Boehnke, J; Vostanis, P; Patalay, P; (2018) Longitudinal pathways between mental health difficulties and academic performance during middle childhood and early adolescence. British Journal of Developmental Psychology , 36 (1) pp. 110-126. 10.1111/bjdp.12218. Green open access

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Abstract

There is a growing appreciation that child functioning in different domains, levels, or systems are interrelated over time. Here, we investigate links between internalizing symptoms, externalizing problems, and academic attainment during middle childhood and early adolescence, drawing on two large data sets (child: mean age 8.7 at enrolment, n = 5,878; adolescent: mean age 11.7, n = 6,388). Using a 2‐year cross‐lag design, we test three hypotheses – adjustment erosion, academic incompetence, and shared risk – while also examining the moderating influence of gender. Multilevel structural equation models provided consistent evidence of the deleterious effect of externalizing problems on later academic achievement in both cohorts, supporting the adjustment‐erosion hypothesis. Evidence supporting the academic‐incompetence hypothesis was restricted to the middle childhood cohort, revealing links between early academic failure and later internalizing symptoms. In both cohorts, inclusion of shared‐risk variables improved model fit and rendered some previously established cross‐lag pathways non‐significant. Implications of these findings are discussed, and study strengths and limitations noted.

Type: Article
Title: Longitudinal pathways between mental health difficulties and academic performance during middle childhood and early adolescence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12218
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12218
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: internalizing, externalizing, academic attainment, longitudinal associations, shared risk, developmental cascades
UCL classification: UCL
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10027685
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