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Child Dev. 2008 Sep-Oct;79(5):1570-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01206.x.

Children's insecure representations of the interparental relationship and their school adjustment: the mediating role of attention difficulties.

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


This study examined the role of attention difficulties as a mediator of associations between children's insecure representations of the interparental relationship and their school adjustment in a sample of two hundred and sixteen 6-year-old children. Consistent with hypotheses, findings from structural equation models indicated that observer ratings of children's insecure representations of interparental relationships in a story completion task predicted computerized task assessments and parent reports of children's attention difficulties 1 year later. Children's attention difficulties, in turn, were associated with concurrent levels of school problems and increases in school problems over a 1-year period as indexed by teacher reports. Attention difficulties accounted for an average of 34% of the association between insecure internal representations and school problems.

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