The ecology of the emergence of psychopathology in early childhood is often approached by the analysis of a limited number of contextual risk factors. In the present study, we provide a comprehensive analysis of ecological risk by conducting a canonical correlation analysis of 13 risk factors at child age 2 and seven narrow-band scales of internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors at child age 4, using a sample of 364 geographically and ethnically diverse, disadvantaged primary caregivers, alternative caregivers, and preschool-age children. Participants were recruited from Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children sites and were screened for family risk. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that (1) a first latent combination of family and individual risks of caregivers predicted combinations of child emotional and behavioral problems, and that (2) a second latent combination of contextual and structural risks predicted child somatic complaints. Specifically, (1) the combination of chaotic home, conflict with child, parental depression, and parenting hassles predicted a co-occurrence of internalizing and externalizing behaviors, and (2) the combination of father absence, perceived discrimination, neighborhood danger, and fewer children living in the home predicted child somatic complaints. The research findings are discussed in terms of the development of psychopathology, as well as the potential prevention needs of families in high-risk contexts.
- Canonical correlation analysis
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health