An indirect effects model of the association between poverty and child functioning

The role of children's poverty-related stress

Martha Ellen Wadsworth, Tali Raviv, Christine Reinhard, Brian Wolff, Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Lindsey Einhorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors tested a theoretical model positing that poverty has an indirect effect on child and adolescent functioning through children's poverty-related stress. Path analyses with a multiethnic sample of 164 children aged 6 to 18 revealed that the stress associated with poverty, such as economic strain, family conflict, violence/trauma, and discrimination, is an important component of the experience of poverty for children. Poverty-related stress was associated with a wide range of correlates, including internalizing and externalizing syndromes, DSM-IV diagnostic symptoms, physical health, and deviant behavior such as pregnancy, legal problems, substance abuse, and school dropout. Most models fit equally well for adolescents and preadolescents, suggesting that poverty is stressful for children as young as 6. African American children's functioning was less strongly associated with poverty-related stress than was the functioning of Hispanic and Caucasian children. Implications of poverty-related stress as a potential mechanism of poverty's pernicious effect on child functioning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-185
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume13
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

Fingerprint

Poverty
poverty
Student Dropouts
adolescent
Family Conflict
Domestic Violence
deviant behavior
Caucasian
drop-out
health behavior
Hispanic Americans
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
African Americans
substance abuse
Substance-Related Disorders
trauma
pregnancy
diagnostic
Theoretical Models
discrimination

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Wadsworth, Martha Ellen ; Raviv, Tali ; Reinhard, Christine ; Wolff, Brian ; DeCarlo Santiago, Catherine ; Einhorn, Lindsey. / An indirect effects model of the association between poverty and child functioning : The role of children's poverty-related stress. In: Journal of Loss and Trauma. 2008 ; Vol. 13, No. 2-3. pp. 156-185.
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An indirect effects model of the association between poverty and child functioning : The role of children's poverty-related stress. / Wadsworth, Martha Ellen; Raviv, Tali; Reinhard, Christine; Wolff, Brian; DeCarlo Santiago, Catherine; Einhorn, Lindsey.

In: Journal of Loss and Trauma, Vol. 13, No. 2-3, 01.03.2008, p. 156-185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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