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Internalizing behavior problems such as anxiety and depression impair children’s aptitude to establish contacts with peers and hinder their ability to fully participate in learning activities. Furthermore, early onset of internalizing problems may significantly decrease quality of adult life. The present study examined factors that contribute to internalizing behavior problems among young children. Factors intrinsic to the child and to the child’s family were assessed and analyzed using multilevel modeling techniques to explain variation in internalizing problem behaviors across participating Head Start preschools. The final sample included 183 children ages 3–5.5 years old who were recruited from 15 preschools in rural and urban communities in south central Michigan. Majority (54 %) of children were Caucasian and others were identified as African-American (23 %), biracial (20 %), Hispanic and Native American (3 %). Children’s parents, teachers and case managers reported on behavioral problems, child and family characteristics. Child male gender, externalizing behavior problems, lower maternal education, and lower levels of social support to the mother were significantly associated with higher Achenbach TRF Internalizing behavior scores in young children.
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- Internalizing Problems in At-risk Preschoolers: Associations with Child and Mother Risk Factors
Eric A. Bermann
Sandra A. Graham-Bermann
- Springer US