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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2011;40(4):646-57. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2011.581622.

Testing the adaptation to poverty-related stress model: predicting psychopathology symptoms in families facing economic hardship.

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Department of Psychology, University of Denver, CO 80208, USA.


This study tested the Adaptation to Poverty-related Stress Model and its proposed relations between poverty-related stress, effortful and involuntary stress responses, and symptoms of psychopathology in an ethnically diverse sample of low-income children and their parents. Prospective Hierarchical Linear Modeling analyses conducted with 98 families (300 family members: 136 adults, 82 adolescents and preadolescents, 82 school-age children) revealed that, consistent with the model, primary and secondary control coping were protective against poverty-related stress primarily for internalizing symptoms. Conversely, disengagement coping exacerbated externalizing symptoms over time. In addition, involuntary engagement stress responses exacerbated the effects of poverty-related stress for internalizing symptoms, whereas involuntary disengagement responses exacerbated externalizing symptoms. Age and gender effects were found in most models, reflecting more symptoms of both types for parents than children and higher levels of internalizing symptoms for girls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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