Child Community Violence Exposure in an at-Risk Sample: Developmental Trajectories, Caregiving Risks, and the Role of Child Temperament

Junru Zhao, Idean Ettekal, Amanda B. Nickerson, Pamela Schuetze, Shannon Shisler, Stephanie Godleski, Jamie Ostrov, Rina D. Eiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To better understand early etiological pathways to trajectories of child exposure to community violence (CECV), we used person-centered latent class growth analysis (LCGA) to examine chronicity of CECV from early school age through early adolescence, and examined early risks of the identified CECV trajectories (i.e., prenatal cocaine exposure, harsh parenting and caregiving instability across infancy and early childhood, and child activity level and inhibitory control at kindergarten age). Method: An at-risk sample (N = 216; 110 girls) of primarily low-income participants (76% on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) with high rates of prenatal substance exposure was used. The majority of the mothers were African–American (72%), had high school or below education (70%), and were single (86%). Postnatal assessments occurred at eight time points during infancy and toddlerhood, early childhood through early school age, and early adolescence. Results: We identified two distinct linearly increasing CECV trajectories (high-exposure and low-exposure). An interaction between child activity level and maternal harshness emerged, such that children with high activity levels and experiencing high harshness had the highest probabilities of being in the high exposure-increasing trajectory, in addition to early caregiving instability (conditional effect). Conclusion: The present findings not only have important theoretical implications but also provide insights into early intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-392
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Violence
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology

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