ERIC Number: EJ813476
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Associations between Family Relationships and Symptoms/Strengths at Kindergarten Age: What Is the Role of Children's Parental Representations?
Stadelmann, Stephanie; Perren, Sonja; von Wyl, Agnes; von Klitzing, Kai
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v48 n10 p996-1004 Oct 2007
Background: The quality of the family relationships plays an important role in the development of children's psychopathology and in their socio-emotional development. This longitudinal study aims to investigate whether family relationships are related to children's symptoms/strengths at kindergarten, and whether family relationships are predictors of changes in children's symptoms/strengths between 5 and 6. Our main interest is to examine the role of children's parental representations. Methods: One hundred and fifty-three kindergarten children (67 girls, 86 boys) participated in this study. Children's parental representations were assessed using a story stem task (age 5). The family environment was assessed using parents' ratings (age 5). A multi-informant approach (parent, teacher, child) was employed to assess children's symptoms/strengths at 5 and 6. Children were interviewed using a standardised puppet interview. Parents and teachers completed questionnaires. Results: Children's parental representations as well as the family environment were associated with children's symptoms/strengths at 5 and 6. When controlled for gender, children's representations were the only predictor of changes in symptoms/strengths between 5 and 6. A large number of negative parental representations at 5 predicted an increase in conduct problems. A large number of positive parental representations at 5 predicted an increase in pro-social behaviour. In terms of emotional symptoms and hyperactivity/inattention, symptoms at 5 were the only predictor for symptoms one year later. Conclusions: Our results suggest that kindergarten children's narrative representations may elaborate the processes underlying the expression of child disturbance and strengths, and underline the relevance of the play and narration of young children for diagnostics and therapy.
Descriptors: Longitudinal Studies, Young Children, Psychopathology, Questionnaires, Family Relationship, Kindergarten, Family Environment, Emotional Development, Teaching Methods, Social Development, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Parent Attitudes, Interviews, Evaluation Methods, Puppetry, Prosocial Behavior, Therapy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A