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The mutual influence of marital

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The mutual influence of marital Powered By Docstoc
					     Shared, child-specific
    and reciprocal influences
     in the development of
        psychopathology
Jenny Jenkins, Judy Dunn, Jon Rasbash, Tom
O’Connor, Anna Simpson, Patricia Behnke


                            Child Development, 2005
                            Journal of Family
                            Psychology, 2005
Conundrum for environmental
        researchers

 Behavioral genetic studies find that
 siblings are very different from one
another once genetic effects have been
              controlled
       Effective vs Observed
           environment
• BG studies tend to focus on the EFFECTIVE
  environment (Turkheimer and Waldron,
  2001).
• My focus is the OBSERVED environment.
• Measurements of the environment: family-
  wide and child-specific
      Majority of environmental studies of family influences
      family and child-specific processes are confounded
                             Outcome
                             Variable



  Family          Family A               Family B
   Level




Child Level   1                      2




                             Between Family
                              Comparisons
Environmental studies using sibling design: unconfounds family and
child


 Family Level          Family                Family
                         A                     B


 Child Level
                   1     2      3




                 Within family comparisons




                       Between family comparisons
                  Themes
• Do family-wide or child-specific aspects of
  the environment predict change in child
  behavior?
• How similar are children’s experiences in
  families?
• Shared family factors that increase or
  decrease similarity of experience?
• What are children’s own contributions to the
  stressful environments that they experience?
   Mutual influence of marital
 conflict and children’s behavior
problems: shared and non-shared
            family risks
Jenny Jenkins, Judy Dunn, Jon Rasbash, Tom
  O’Connor and Anna Simpson
Child Development, 24-39, 2005
Marital conflict as a shared
     risk for children
    Features of previous studies
• Mainly correlational at single time point
• Advantage of longitudinal for ‘causal’
  argument
• A few that have predicted change in child
  behavior
• Elements of marital conflict: about kids and
  not about kids
  Marital conflict




Children’s problems
       Indications of child effect

• Couples w/o kids        Marital satisfaction

• Birth of baby associated with declines in MS

• Poor child temperament or health     MS
                Methods
• ALSPAC: 14,000 birth cohort from Avon,
  UK
• Avon Brothers and Sisters Study: intensive
  investigations of non-step, single parent and
  stepfamilies with two or more children in
  family
• Time 1. Mean age of youngest 4.8 years.
  Older sibs between 6-17 years.
• Follow-up 2 years later
• Examined change in response variable
                  Sample
• 45 biological families (101 children), 44
  stepfather (109 children) and 38 complex
  (86 children)

• 3 participating children=44 families
  2 participating children=81 families
  1 participating child=2
                Measures

• Child externalizing based on teacher report:
  TRF
• Argument about children: Mo report: How
  often couple disagrees about different
  aspects of child behavior.
• Exposure to conflict: Mo report: how often
  child in room when parents argue.
• General partner conflict: Mo report: money,
  in-laws, sex
           Measures at the family and child-specific levels




Family average        Family            Family
Argument about          A                 B
children
Child’s           1     2      3
                        2
deviation from
the family mean
Does marital conflict affect change in
child behavior?
     Does marital conflict affect
     change in child behavior?


• Not child-specific measure
Does child behavior affect change in
          marital conflict?
 Child externalizing predicts change in
argument more strongly in stepfamilies
              Conclusion

 Marital conflict increases externalizing
             child behavior




Children’s externalizing behavior increases
Conflict between parents: esp in steps
              Question 2
Is the effect of marital conflict on
  siblings shared or non-shared?

Family level variable (family average on
  argument about children) explains variance
  in response rather than child-specific
  variable
   BUT

   Siblings show greater dissimilarity at
   higher levels of argument about children


              0.018
              0.016
              0.014
              0.012
   sibling     0.01
dissimilarity 0.008
              0.006
              0.004
              0.002
                  0
                       average MC        one unit increase in
                                                 MC
 Environmental risk may serve to
   spread children out. Role of
     individual differences?

                 Readiness to   Ext
                 anger

Environmental   Language        Low
                vulnerability   achievement
stress
                Behavioral      Int
                inhibition
      Question 3

How differential are siblings’
experiences of marital conflict?
What explains such differential
experience?
    Shared family environments?
   Families differ from one another on
   how much parental conflict children
   experience

Family Blue   Family Yellow              Family Pink




              Exposure to parental conflict
 Shared family environments?
  Children within families differ
  from one another on how much
  parental conflict they experience

Family Blue   Family Yellow            Family Pink




              Exposure to parental conflict
Sibling similarity on conflict
         experience
0.58

0.56

0.54

0.52

 0.5

0.48

0.46

0.44
       argument about   exposure to conflict
           children
 Change in differential argument about siblings



                           0.3
argument about siblings
 change in differential



                          0.25
                           0.2              biological
                          0.15              stepfather
                           0.1              complex
                          0.05
                            0
Differential sibling exposure to conflict as a
         function of family status

                        0.5
exposure to conflict
 Differential sibling




                        0.4
                                            biological
                        0.3
                                            stepfather
                        0.2
                                            complex
                        0.1
                         0
         Summary of findings
• Relationship between marital conflict and
  child behavior is reciprocal
• At high levels of marital conflict siblings
  show increasing dissimilarity
• Siblings’ experiences in families are
  differential.
• Such differential experience is partly a
  function of shared environmental factors
 Sibling negativity: Dyad-specific
     and shared family effects
•Same themes
•Sibling dyad negativity vs child adjustment
•Whether change in sibling relationships is
explained by shared family factors; whether shared
family factors increase dyad dissimilarity; what
explains dyad dissimilarity
                Methods
• ABSS sample as previously described
• Maternal interview of sibling negativity in
  the dyad using Colorado Maternal Interview
  on sibling relationships.
• Maternal negativity towards child based on
  4 scales. Average for dyad; average for
  family and differential between siblings in
  dyad calculated.
Does family average or dyad specific maternal
     negativity explain change in sibling
                 negativity?
     Change in sibling dyad negativity as a
       function of single parent family

           14

           12

           10
Within                               2 parent family
           8
family
           6                         single parent
variance                             family
           4

           2

           0
    Maternal differential treatment explains
   13% of within family variance on sibling
     negativity – but only in single parent
                    families
           14

           12

           10
                                            2 parent family
Within     8
family     6                                single parent
                                            family
variance   4

           2

           0

                no predictors   after MDT
  Limitations of the sibling and
     marital conflict studies
Measurement problems. Although in some of
 the studies the IV and DV are based on
 different informants, the family clustering
 information is based on single informant.
 Degree of family clustering that we see may
 be related to same person reporting on
 measures for different siblings
               Conclusions
• Shared family stresses predict more variance
  in outcomes than child or dyad specific.
  Measurement problem or AMBIENT effect?
• Children’s experiences in families are both
  similar and different. Shared family risks are
  associated with more differential experience:
  step families, single parent homes. Stresses
  increase individual differences?
• Children’s own contributions to the stressful
  environments that they experience?

				
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posted:2/18/2010
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