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Title: Early precursors of disruptive behaviours : a prospective longitudinal study
Author: Wheeler, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 158X
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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Externalising disorders have been theoretically linked with impairments in regulatory capacities. However, to date, empirical data on this point are limited, and further longitudinal studies are particularly required. Moreover, significant questions remain regarding the inter-relatedness of different aspects of self- regulation, and the factors that influence their development. The current study examined the longitudinal stability of, and associations among, response inhibition, emotion regulation, disruptive behaviour throughout infancy and into early childhood in families experiencing either high or low risk levels of psychosocial adversity. The stability and influence of parenting behaviour on child outcomes was also examined. Mothers were recruited at 19 weeks gestation; screening ensured the recruitment of families experiencing high (n = 58) versus low (n = 64) levels of psychosocial adversity. Mothers and infants completed assessments at 4- and 12-weeks postpartum and were followed up at 12- and 18-months and five years. At each time point mother and infants completed a battery of assessments which indexed child emotion regulation capacities, disruptive child behaviour, and response inhibition; and maternal parenting behaviours. Results demonstrated some stability for disruptive behaviour during infancy but not into childhood. Emotion regulation was stable between consecutive time points. Response inhibition was not found to be stable over time or as a coherent construct. Associations were observed between disruptive behaviour, emotion regulation and response inhibition and such associations were evident from 12 months, broadly supporting the hypothesis that regulatory impairments contribute to externalising difficulties. There was also evidence to suggest that parenting was related to concurrent child emotion regulation and disruptive behaviour at five years, but the same effects were not observed in infancy; and parenting was not a predictor of later child emotion regulation capacities. Parenting behaviour was not associated with response inhibition. Finally, high psychosocial adversity was found to have adverse outcomes for children and parenting behaviour; however, positive parenting was found to act as a buffer for the effects of risk status on disruptive behaviour. Implications for intervention programmes (e.g., parenting programmes, enhancing child regulatory capacities) and the development of screening tools are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available