Children's adjustment and prosocial behaviour in step-, single-parent, andnon-stepfamily settings: Findings from a community study

Citation
J. Dunn et al., Children's adjustment and prosocial behaviour in step-, single-parent, andnon-stepfamily settings: Findings from a community study, J CHILD PSY, 39(8), 1998, pp. 1083-1095
Citations number
50
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psychiatry
Journal title
JOURNAL OF CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY AND ALLIED DISCIPLINES
ISSN journal
0021-9630 → ACNP
Volume
39
Issue
8
Year of publication
1998
Pages
1083 - 1095
Database
ISI
SICI code
0021-9630(199811)39:8<1083:CAAPBI>2.0.ZU;2-W
Abstract
The adjustment and prosocial behaviour of Lt-year-old children and their ol der siblings growing up in step-parent or single-parent families, or with t wo biological parents, was investigated within a longitudinal community stu dy, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC). Mean d ifferences in mothers' perception of adjustment were found for children in different family settings, with higher levels of problems and lower prosoci al scores reported for those in single- and step-parent families than those in non-stepfamilies. Individual differences within each family setting wer e marked. With the exception of single parenthood, which remained a risk in dicator for the 4-year-olds, the contribution of family type to differences in adjustment and prosocial behaviour largely disappeared when account was also taken of negativity in family relationships, maternal age, education level, depressive symptomatology, and history of previous live-in relations hips, mothers' support networks, and the family's current financial and hou sing circumstances. Boys remained more at risk for adjustment difficulties than girls when this range of factors was taken into account. The limitatio ns and implications of these findings on a community sample, a first step i n a programme of research into family processes in children's adjustment, a re discussed.