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Behav Sci (Basel). 2016 Dec 29;7(1). pii: E2. doi: 10.3390/bs7010002.

Poverty-Related Adversity and Emotion Regulation Predict Internalizing Behavior Problems among Low-Income Children Ages 8-11.

Author information

1
The Institute of Human Development and Social Change, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA. Cybele.raver@nyu.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA. amanda.roy@uic.edu.
3
The Institute of Human Development and Social Change, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA. epressler@gmail.com.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA. amu2116@cumc.columbia.edu.
5
Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. dana_mccoy@gse.harvard.edu.

Abstract

The current study examines the additive and joint roles of chronic poverty-related adversity and three candidate neurocognitive processes of emotion regulation (ER)-including: (i) attention bias to threat (ABT); (ii) accuracy of facial emotion appraisal (FEA); and (iii) negative affect (NA)-for low-income, ethnic minority children's internalizing problems (N = 338). Children were enrolled in the current study from publicly funded preschools, with poverty-related adversity assessed at multiple time points from early to middle childhood. Field-based administration of neurocognitively-informed assessments of ABT, FEA and NA as well as parental report of internalizing symptoms were collected when children were ages 8-11, 6 years after baseline. Results suggest that chronic exposure to poverty-related adversity from early to middle childhood predicted higher levels of internalizing symptomatology when children are ages 8-11, even after controlling for initial poverty status and early internalizing symptoms in preschool. Moreover, each of the 3 hypothesized components of ER played an independent and statistically significant role in predicting children's parent-reported internalizing symptoms at the 6-year follow-up, even after controlling for early and chronic poverty-related adversity.

KEYWORDS:

attention bias; emotion regulation; poverty

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