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Author: Adams, Michelle Janssen
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1. Adams, Michelle Janssen
Youth in Crisis: An Examination of Adverse Risk Factors Affecting Children's Cognitive and Behavioral/Emotional Development, Children Ages 10-16
Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Dallas, 1995
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Behavioral Problems; Child Development; Children, Poverty; Cognitive Development; Delinquency/Gang Activity; Hispanics; Intelligence; Parents, Behavior; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Self-Esteem; Self-Perception; Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC); Test Scores/Test theory/IRT; Welfare

This longitudinal study investigates the effects of adverse risk factors, such as childhood poverty or poor parenting, on the cognitive and behavioral/emotional development of children between the ages of 10-16 in 1990. This study incorporates theories generated in the study of welfare, delinquency, and developmental psychology and uses the Mother-Child linked National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). A cross-lagged model is used to control for any intervening influences children's prior scores may have had on key parenting measures. Ordinary Least Squares multiple regression is used to estimate five separate, block-recursive models measuring 1992 children's reading and math comprehension, behavioral problems index scores, along with global and scholastic self-esteem scores. Through our research, we found a number of risk and protective factors exist which influence children's development. First, children were adversely affected the longer they lived in poverty/marginal poverty, even after controlling for individual parenting styles. Second, both Hispanic and black children were more negatively influenced by the detrimental effects of adverse risk factors. Third, a mother's own intellectual ability, in addition to her self-esteem, served as protective factors for children. Fourth, children with higher lagged global self-esteem also had higher cognitive aptitudes. Lastly, different parenting behavior, such as a more authoritative parenting style, affected children's outcomes. Parents who used a non-harsh form of discipline as opposed to spanking had children with higher global self-esteem scores. Additionally, direct parental interaction, such as doing one-on-one activities with children, increased children's cognitive and behavioral/emotional development. The results suggest a number of protective factors can be developed by parents, educators, and policy makers to reduce the many adversities children currently face. Successful interventions, such as parenting classes focusing on the importance of non-harsh methods of discipline and developing a child's cognitive abilities and self-esteem, should be implemented to enhance children's full development.
Bibliography Citation
Adams, Michelle Janssen. Youth in Crisis: An Examination of Adverse Risk Factors Affecting Children's Cognitive and Behavioral/Emotional Development, Children Ages 10-16. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Dallas, 1995.