Codeveloping Trajectories of Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Problems From Toddlerhood to Early School Age : Role of Prenatal Substance Exposure and Caregiver Sensitivity
- Ivanova, Miglena
- [University Park, Pennsylvania] : Pennsylvania State University, 2022.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Eiden, Rina Das
- etda.libraries.psu.edu , Connect to this object online.
- Restrictions on Access:
- Restricted (PSU Only).
- Early child behavior problems might set young children on a course towards maladaptive outcomes. While most of the literature has examined the internalizing and externalizing problem domains as two independent constructs, growing evidence suggests they codevelop. In this thesis, I examined 1) the codeveloping trajectories of internalizing and externalizing problems from toddler age through early school age in at-risk sample of children; 2) the association between prenatal substance exposure and these trajectories; and 3) the role of caregiver sensitivity as a moderator of this association. 216 diverse caregiver-child dyads (primarily families of color; lower socio-economic status) were recruited at birth into a longitudinal study examining prenatal cocaine and other substance exposure using a case-control design (116 exposed to cocaine, 100 exposed to other substances but not cocaine, group matched for biological maternal age, education, and race). Caregiver sensitivity was coded from behavioral observations of caregiver-child interactions during free-play at the 7-, 13-, 24-, 36-, and 48-month visits. Behavior problems were measured every six months using maternal reports, from 18 months of child age through early school age. Using parallel-process latent growth curve analysis, I found that both internalizing and externalizing problems followed a pattern, consistent with past evidence. There were significant individual differences at 18 months (intercepts) and the rate of change from 18 months through early school age (slopes), as well as significant associations within and across domains. Within the internalizing domain, higher initial levels were negatively associated with the linear component and positively associated with the quadratic component, and a higher linear increase was negatively associated with the quadratic component. Within the externalizing domain, a steeper linear increase was also negatively associated with the quadratic component. Cross-domain intercepts, linear increases and quadratic decreases were positively associated with each other. However, there were no direct or interaction effects of prenatal substance exposure and caregiver sensitivity on behavior problem trajectories. Despite increased risk due to prenatal substance exposure and other contextual risks, on average, children followed normative developmental trajectories of internalizing and externalizing problems across early childhood, although there was significant variability. The results highlight the positive associations between the two trajectories and the need to consider both in preventive interventions. The lack of direct and interaction effects of prenatal substance exposure and caregiver sensitivity indicates the need to test alternative mechanisms and include rearing environmental and sociodemographic risks as moderators in future studies.
- Other Subject(s):
- Dissertation Note:
- M.S. Pennsylvania State University 2022.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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