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Socioeconomic disadvantage and children’s emotional and behavioural problems: the role of early aspirations

Flouri, E; Midouhas, E; Joshi, H; Sullivan, A; (2016) Socioeconomic disadvantage and children’s emotional and behavioural problems: the role of early aspirations. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies , 7 (2) pp. 144-164. 10.14301/llcs.v7i2.364. Green open access

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Abstract

Using data from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study, we investigated the association of early family socioeconomic disadvantage (measured when cohort children were age three) with children’s aspirations and emotional and behavioural problems at age seven (N = 11,656). Aspirations were gauged by children’s written responses to the question ‘when you grow up, what would you like to be’. Responses were classified to reflect the prestige of the aspired occupation and its sex composition, and the degree of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation inferred from the aspiration. Disadvantage predicted problems both directly and via its association with low prestige and intrinsic aspirations. Children aspiring to more prestigious occupations had fewer emotional and hyperactivity problems, and those with more extrinsic aspirations had fewer emotional symptoms. Both girls and particularly boys with apparently more intrinsic aspirations had more peer problems. The association between hyperactivity and disadvantage was attenuated among children aspiring to more feminised jobs.

Type: Article
Title: Socioeconomic disadvantage and children’s emotional and behavioural problems: the role of early aspirations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14301/llcs.v7i2.364
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.14301/llcs.v7i2.364
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Authors 2016. This is an Open Access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Keywords: aspirations; emotional and behavioral problems; family socio-economic disadvantage; MCS; resilience
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485815
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