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Dev Psychol. 2013 Dec;49(12):2212-24. doi: 10.1037/a0032309. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Relations between political violence and child adjustment: a four-wave test of the role of emotional insecurity about community.

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Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame.


This study further explored the impact of sectarian violence and children's emotional insecurity about community on child maladjustment using a 4-wave longitudinal design. The study included 999 mother-child dyads in Belfast, Northern Ireland (482 boys, 517 girls). Across the 4 waves, child mean age was 12.19 (SD = 1.82), 13.24 (SD = 1.83), 13.61 (SD = 1.99), and 14.66 years (SD = 1.96), respectively. Building on previous studies of the role of emotional insecurity in child adjustment, the current study examines within-person change in emotional insecurity using latent growth curve analyses. The results showed that children's trajectories of emotional insecurity about community were related to risk for developing conduct and emotion problems. These findings controlled for earlier adjustment problems, age, and gender, and took into account the time-varying nature of experience with sectarian violence. Discussion considers the implications for children's emotional insecurity about community for relations between political violence and children's adjustment, including the significance of trajectories of emotional insecurity over time.

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