Cumulative Early Childhood Adversity and Later Antisocial Behavior: The Potential Mediating Role of Neurocognitive Functioning

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2018-04-09

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Abstract

Unfortunately, early childhood adversity is extremely common in the United States. Twenty-six percent of children will have experienced a traumatic event by the age of 4. It is clear from previous research in the field that negative events during childhood can have deleterious effects later on. Early childhood adversity has been found to be a predictor of later antisocial behavior. However, the mechanisms that play into this relationship are unclear. In this study, we explored neurocognitive functioning as a potential mediator for the pathway between cumulative early childhood adversity and later antisocial behavior using the Child Development Project’s data set consisting of 585 participants. Through our analyses, we concluded that cumulative early childhood adversity increased antisocial behavior in young adulthood and lowered neurocognitive functioning in adolescence. Furthermore, poor neurocognitive functioning predicted later antisocial behavior. Mediation analyses showed that neurocognitive functioning was a significant mediator for the relation between cumulative early childhood adversity and later antisocial behavior. This research has implications on understanding the development of later antisocial behavior and it pinpoints to a potential location for intervention within the pathway from cumulative early childhood adversity to later antisocial behavior.

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Yazgan, Idil (2018). Cumulative Early Childhood Adversity and Later Antisocial Behavior: The Potential Mediating Role of Neurocognitive Functioning. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16738.


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