Adverse life events, area socio-economic disadvantage, and adolescent psychopathology: The role of closeness to grandparents in moderating the effect of contextual stress

Eirini Flouri*, Ann Buchanan, Jo Pei Tan, Julia Griggs, Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study, using data from 801 1116-year-olds clustered in 68 schools across England and Wales, tested whether closeness to grandparents moderates the association between contextual stress and adolescent psychopathology and prosocial behavior, measured with the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ). Contextual stress was measured at both school area level (assessed with the index of multiple deprivation) and child level (assessed, as life stress, with the number of proximal and distal adverse life events experienced). At baseline, area stress (multiple deprivation) was unrelated to psychopathology (SDQ), and although both proximal (during the last 12 months) and distal (before the last 12 months) life stress was associated with broad and specific child psychopathology, the association with proximal life stress was stronger. Closeness to the most significant grandparent moderated both the effect of proximal life stress on hyperactivity and broad psychopathology, and the effect of the interaction between distal and proximal life stress on broad and externalizing psychopathology. These findings suggest that the role of grandparents deserves further attention in future investigations of the development of resilience in youth.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)402-412
Number of pages11
JournalStress
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This program of research was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council grant to the first two authors.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Area stress
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Life stress
  • Psychopathology
  • SDQ

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