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Preventing at-risk children from developing antisocial and criminal behaviour: a longitudinal study examining the role of parenting, community and societal factors in middle childhood

Stevens, Madeleine (2018) Preventing at-risk children from developing antisocial and criminal behaviour: a longitudinal study examining the role of parenting, community and societal factors in middle childhood. BMC Psychology, 6 (40). ISSN 2050-7283

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s40359-018-0254-z

Abstract

Background Many childhood risk factors are known to be associated with children’s future antisocial and criminal behaviour, including children’s conduct disorders and family difficulties such as parental substance abuse. Some families are involved with many different services but little is known about what middle childhood factors moderate the risk of poor outcomes. This paper reports the quantitative component of a mixed methods study investigating what factors can be addressed to help families improve children’s outcomes in the longer term. The paper examines six hypotheses, which emerged from a qualitative longitudinal study of the service experiences of eleven vulnerable families followed over five years. The hypotheses concern factors which could be targeted by interventions, services and policy to help reduce children’s behaviour problems in the longer term. Methods The hypotheses are investigated using a sample of over one thousand children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Multiple logistic regression examines associations between potentially-moderating factors (at ages 5–10) and antisocial and criminal behaviour (at ages 16–21) for children with behaviour problems at baseline. Results ALSPAC analyses support several hypotheses, suggesting that the likelihood of future antisocial and criminal behaviour is reduced in the presence of the following factors: reduction in maternal hostility towards the child (between ages 4 and 8), reduction in maternal depression (between the postnatal period and when children are age 10), mothers’ positive view of their neighbourhood (age 5) and lack of difficulty paying the rent (age 7). The evidence was less clear regarding the role of social support (age 6) and mothers’ employment choices (age 7). Conclusion The findings suggest, in conjunction with findings from the separate qualitative analysis, that improved environments around the child and family during middle childhood could have long-term benefits in reducing antisocial and criminal behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/
Additional Information: © 2018 the Author
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Sets: Research centres and groups > Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU)
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 16:20
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 20:58
Projects: 102215/2/13/2
Funders: UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome, University of Bristol, National Institute of Health Research Doctoral Research Fellowship
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/90054

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