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Infant and toddler crying, sleeping and feeding problems and trajectories of dysregulated behavior across childhood.

Winsper C, et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2014.


Infant and toddler regulatory problems (RPs) including crying, sleeping and feeding, are a frequent concern for parents and have been associated with negative behavioral outcomes in early and middle childhood. Uncertain is whether infant and toddler RPs predict stable, trait-like dysregulated behavior across childhood. We addressed this gap in the literature using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). RPs at 6, 15-18, & 24-30 months and childhood dysregulated behavior at 4, 7, 8, & 9.5 years were assessed using mother report. Latent Class Growth Analysis (LCGA) indicated that trajectories of childhood dysregulated behavior were stable over time. All single RPs (i.e., crying, sleeping & feeding problems) were significantly associated with childhood dysregulated behavior. For example, crying problems at 6 months after controlling for confounders (Odds Ratios; 95% Confidence Intervals): Moderate dysregulated behavior: OR = 1.50, 95% CI [1.09 to 2.06], high dysregulated behavior: OR = 2.13, 95% CI [1.49 to 3.05] and very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 2.85, 95% CI [1.64 to 4.94]. Multiple RPs were especially strongly associated with dysregulated behavior. For example, the RP composite at 15-18 months: 1 RP, very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 2.79, 95% CI [2.17 to 3.57], 2 RPs, very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 3.46, 95% CI [2.38 to 5.01], 3 RPs, very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 12.57, 95% CI [6.38 to 24.74]. These findings suggest that RPs in infants and toddlers predict stable dysregulated behavior trajectories across childhood. Interventions for early RPs could help prevent the development of chronic, highly dysregulated behavior.


24122374 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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