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28-04-2017 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 7/2017

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7/2017

Childhood Neglect, Internalizing Symptoms and Adolescent Substance Use: Does the Neighborhood Context Matter?

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 7/2017
Auteurs:
Erinn B. Duprey, Assaf Oshri, Margaret O. Caughy

Abstract

Childhood neglect is associated with risk behaviors in adolescence, including substance use. There is evidence that internalizing behaviors may serve as a mechanism linking childhood neglect and substance use; however, further research is needed to examine this developmental pathway. According to developmental and ecological approaches, the neighborhood context and the developmental timing of maltreatment should both be considered when examining the sequelae of childhood neglect. Hence, the present study uses a longitudinal sample of youth (N = 965, 49.1% female, 59.2% African-American) to examine the influence of timing in the relationship between childhood neglect and adolescent psychopathology, and to examine the indirect effects of child neglect on substance use via internalizing symptoms in adolescence. Furthermore, the role of neighborhood disorder in this indirect effect was tested. Five data collection time points were used: Time 1(M age  = 4.557, SD age  = .701), Time 2 (M age  = 6.422, SD age  = .518), Time 3 (M age  = 12.370, SD age  = .443), Time 4 (M age  = 14.359, SD age  = .452), and Time 5 (M age  = 16.316, SD age  = .615). The findings showed that internalizing problems mediated the link between the severity of neglect in early childhood and adolescent substance use, and this pathway was moderated by neighborhood disorder. These results have implications for preventative interventions aimed toward reducing substance use for at-risk adolescents.

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