Testing the adaptation to poverty-related stress model: Predicting psychopathology symptoms in families facing economic hardship

Martha E. Wadsworth, Tali Raviv, Catherine Decarlo Santiago, Erica M. Etter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tested the Adaptation to Poverty-related Stress Model and its proposed relations between poverty-related stress, effortful and involuntary stress responses, and symptoms of psychopathology in an ethnically diverse sample of low-income children and their parents. Prospective Hierarchical Linear Modeling analyses conducted with 98 families (300 family members: 136 adults, 82 adolescents and preadolescents, 82 school-age children) revealed that, consistent with the model, primary and secondary control coping were protective against poverty-related stress primarily for internalizing symptoms. Conversely, disengagement coping exacerbated externalizing symptoms over time. In addition, involuntary engagement stress responses exacerbated the effects of poverty-related stress for internalizing symptoms, whereas involuntary disengagement responses exacerbated externalizing symptoms. Age and gender effects were found in most models, reflecting more symptoms of both types for parents than children and higher levels of internalizing symptoms for girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-657
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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