Examining Bidirectional Pathways between Political Violence and Child Adjustment over Time in Northern Ireland



Shirlow, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-7483-9859
(2015) Examining Bidirectional Pathways between Political Violence and Child Adjustment over Time in Northern Ireland. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Abstract

Abstract Introduction. Research on social ecologies of political violence has been largely confined to cross-sectional tests of the impact of political violence on child adjustment, limiting perspectives on more nuanced causal pathways, including tests of reciprocal relations between child adjustment and political violence. Based on a four-wave longitudinal design, this study breaks new ground in assessing bidirectional relations between sectarian community violence and children’s adjustment problems. Method. The study included 999 mother-child dyads selected from working class neighborhoods in Belfast ranked in the bottom quartile in terms of social deprivation in Northern Ireland, with approximately 35-40 families recruited to participate from each neighborhood. Across the four waves of data collected in consecutive years, child participants (52% female) were 12.18 (SD=1.82), 13.24 (SD=1.83), 13.62 (SD=1.99), and 14.66 (SD=1.96) years old. Data Analysis. Cross-lagged path models were tested through R package lavaan with full information maximum likelihood. Results. Children’s exposure to sectarian antisocial behavior in their community related to greater adjustment problems one year later. Reflecting a reciprocal pathway, children’s adjustment problems also related to their report of exposure to sectarian antisocial behavior in their community one year later. Based on separate analyses as a function of child gender, both pathways were found to hold true for boys. However, contrary to predictions, girl’s adjustment problems were related to their greater exposure to sectarian community violence but not the other way around. Discussion. These findings offer promising directions towards better conceptualizations of dynamic relations between political violence and child adjustment over time. Keywords: political violence, child and adolescent adjustment, bidirectional pathways, community violence, gender differences

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 09:20
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 10:33
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/2049399