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25-01-2018 | Uitgave 8/2018

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 8/2018

An Imbalance of Approach and Effortful Control Predicts Externalizing Problems: Support for Extending the Dual-Systems Model into Early Childhood

Tijdschrift:
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 8/2018
Auteurs:
Katherine Jonas, Grazyna Kochanska
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10802-018-0400-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Although the association between deficits in effortful control and later externalizing behavior is well established, many researchers (Nigg Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(3-4), 395–422, 2006; Steinberg Developmental Review, 28(1), 78–106, 2008) have hypothesized this association is actually the product of the imbalance of dual systems, or two underlying traits: approach and self-regulation. Very little research, however, has deployed a statistically robust strategy to examine that compelling model; further, no research has done so using behavioral measures, particularly in longitudinal studies. We examined the imbalance of approach and self-regulation (effortful control, EC) as predicting externalizing problems. Latent trait models of approach and EC were derived from behavioral measures collected from 102 children in a community sample at 25, 38, 52, and 67 months (2 to 5 ½ years), and used to predict externalizing behaviors, modeled as a latent trait derived from parent-reported measures at 80, 100, 123, and 147 months (6 ½ to 12 years). The imbalance hypothesis was supported: Children with an imbalance of approach and EC had more externalizing behavior problems in middle childhood and early preadolescence, relative to children with equal levels of the two traits.

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