Convergence or Divergence? A Longitudinal Analysis of Behaviour Problems among Disabled and Non-Disabled Children Aged 3 to 7 in England

Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Rebecca Fauth, Tufts University
Samantha Parsons, Institute of Education

This paper identifies the incidence and development of disabled children’s problem behaviours, including conduct, peer, hyperactivity and emotional problems during the early years using the Millennium Cohort Study, a large-scale, nationally representative UK study. We track behaviour problems from age 3 to 7 to examine the emergence of problems and whether disabled girls’ and boys’ behaviour converges or diverges from non-disabled children over time. Using three measures of disability we explore the implications of particular constructions of disability for our findings. Finally, we examine whether parenting and the home environment moderate any associations between disability and behaviour. Estimating linear growth models, we find that disabled children exhibit more behaviour problems than non-disabled children across disability measures. We find no evidence that trajectories converge for disabled and non-disabled children. We find little evidence that parenting moderates associations between disability and behaviour.

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