Children may be exposed to numerous types of traumatic events that can negatively affect their development. The scope to which studies have examined an array of events among young children has been limited, thereby restricting our understanding of exposure and its relationship to behavioral functioning. The current cross-sectional study describes traumatic event exposure in detail and its relationship to behavioral health among an at-risk sample of young children (N = 184), under 6 years of age, upon enrollment into an early childhood, family-based, mental health system of care. Caregivers completed home-based semistructured interviews that covered children's exposure to 24 different types of traumatic events and behavioral and emotional functioning. Findings indicated that nearly 72% of young children experienced 1 or more types of traumatic events. Multiple regression model results showed that exposure was significantly associated with greater behavioral and emotional challenges with children's age, gender, race/ethnicity, household income, and caregiver's education in the model. These findings highlight the prevalence of traumatic exposures among an at-risk sample of young children in a system of care and suggest that this exposure is associated with behavioral and emotional challenges at a young age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health