Developmental Trajectories of Anxiety and Depression from Preschool Childhood to Early Adolescence: Cumulative Effects and Timing Effects of Poverty and Low Income

Hyun Sik Kim, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Even though effects of poverty and low income in childhood on outcomes in later life are well known in literature, relatively little attention, if any, has been directed toward conditions generating, fortifying, and enervating a various types of psychological pathology. In this paper, three models are introduced to test cumulative effects and timing effects of family income and poverty status on growth trajectories of psychopathological symptoms in childhood after controlling sex, race/ethnicity, mother’s marital status, cohorts and birth order. Methodologically, growth curve models are fitted to data from the Children of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Psychopathological problems are measured as an anxiety and depression subscale of the Behavior Problem Index. Specifically, Persistent Poverty model fails to detect statistically significant, cumulative effects of poverty. Time-varying poverty model and time-varying income model show relatively strong effects of poverty status and low income levels in early childhood and early adolescence.

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Presented in Poster Session 4