A defensive mindset: A pattern of social information processing that develops early and predicts life course outcomes

Kenneth A. Dodge, Yu Bai, Jennifer Godwin, Jennifer E. Lansford, John E. Bates, Gregory S. Pettit, Damon Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The hypothesis was tested that some children develop a defensive mindset that subsumes individual social information processing (SIP) steps, grows from early experiences, and guides long-term outcomes. In Study 1 (Fast Track [FT]), 463 age-5 children (45% girls; 43% Black) were first assessed in 1991 and followed through age 32 (83% retention). In Study 2 (Child Development Project [CDP]), 585 age-5 children (48% girls, 17% Black) were first assessed in 1987 and followed through age 34 (78% retention). In both studies, measures were collected of early adverse experiences, defensive mindset and SIP, and adult outcomes. Across both studies, a robust latent construct of school-age defensive mindset was validated empirically (comparative fit index =.99 in each study) and found to mediate the impact of early child abuse (38% in FT and 29% in CDP of total effect) and peer social rejection (14% in FT and 7% in CDP of total effect) on adult incarceration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e357-e378
JournalChild development
Volume93
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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