Early Stressful Life Events and Child Behavioral Outcomes in Fragile Families

Abby Lane, University of Texas at Austin
Cynthia A. Osborne, University of Texas at Austin

Prior research affirms that child development is influenced by one’s environment, genetics, and experiences, including stressful life events (SLEs). The influence of stress on child development depends on a number of factors, including the timing of stress in a child’s life, the frequency and duration of stress, and the context in which it occurs. The present study uses the Fragile Families Study to explore the prevalence of stressful events early in life (zero to three) and the extent to which these events are associated with child emotional and behavioral outcomes at age five. We pay particular attention to how SLEs vary by mother’s relationship status at the child’s birth and whether this relationship status moderates the effects of SLEs on child behavior.

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 Presented in Session P4. Children and Youth/Population and Aging