Mediators of the Associations Between Externalizing Behaviors and Internalizing Symptoms in Late Childhood and Early Adolescence

Abstract

This study tests the predictive associations between externalizing behaviors and internalizing symptoms and examines the mediating
roles of social competence, parent-child conflicts, and academic achievement. Using youth-, parent-, and teacher-reported
longitudinal data on a sample of 523 boys and 460 girls from late childhood to early adolescence, we found evidence for pathways
between externalizing behaviors and internalizing symptoms in both directions. Parent-child conflict, but not social competence
and academic achievement, was found to be a significant mediator such that externalizing behaviors predicted parent-child
conflicts, which in turn, predicted internalizing symptoms. Internalizing symptoms showed more continuity during early adolescence
for girls than boys. For boys, academic achievement was unexpectedly, positively predictive of internalizing symptoms. The
results highlight the importance of facilitating positive parental and caregiver involvement during adolescence in alleviating
the risk of co-occurring psychopathology.

Comments Off on Mediators of the Associations Between Externalizing Behaviors and Internalizing Symptoms in Late Childhood and Early Adolescence

Tags: ,

UA-25380860-1