This longitudinal study examined the presence of general (P) and specific internalizing (INT) and externalizing (EXT) psychopathology factors in a community sample of preschool children. We assessed child and contextual correlates of P, INT, and EXT, and tested a model connecting socioeconomic risk to these factors through family socialization processes and child cognitive abilities. Participants were 501 children recruited at birth and followed up at 18 months and 3 years. Child and family functioning were measured using parental reports, observation, and standardized assessments. Both mothers and their partners reported on children’s mental health, permitting the estimation of a trifactor model of psychopathology that captured caregivers’ shared and unique perspectives with respect to P, INT, and EXT. Results revealed several transdiagnostic correlates of the common-perspective P factor, including family income, maternal education, maternal depression, and maternal responsiveness, as well as marginal associations with sibling negativity and children’s language and theory of mind abilities. Several shared and unique correlates of INT and EXT were also observed. Structural equation modelling revealed that the effects of family income and maternal education on P operated indirectly through maternal responsiveness, while the effects of maternal education on INT and EXT operated through maternal reflective capacity, albeit in opposite directions. Together, these results suggest that the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage on general psychopathology are organized in a temporal cascade from distal to proximal risk.