Mental health of pre-school children and their mothers in a mixed urban/rural population. III: latent variable models


Stevenson, J., Thompson, M.J.J. and Sonuga-Barke, E. (1996) Mental health of pre-school children and their mothers in a mixed urban/rural population. III: latent variable models. British Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 26-32.

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Description/Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of clear and explicit models of the way various family and social influences on children's behaviour interact with factors such as temperament to produce behaviour disturbance in young children.

METHOD: The following measures had been obtained on a total population sample of 1047 families with a 3-year-old child: the child's perceived cuddliness, difficult temperament, mother's unhappy childhood, maternal disturbance, social class, behaviour problems and overactivity. A latent variable analysis using the LISREL 7 program was applied to the data.

RESULTS: A model that allowed the latent variables child 'temperament' and 'mother's mental state' to have separate additive effects on 'child adaptation' proved an excellent fit (goodness of fit index = 0.956). This model suggests that there is a common factor ('child adaptation') underlying behaviour problems and overactivity. Using this model 72% of child adaptation in boys could be explained. For girls however temperament and mother's mental state accounted for only 30% of the variance in child adaptation.

CONCLUSION: There is a need to investigate different mechanisms for the origins of behaviour problems in preschool boys and girls.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology
ePrint ID: 58820
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:41
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/58820

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