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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101278

Impact of Psychosocial Environment on Young Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, K. Donelaicio str. 58, 44248 Kaunas, Lithuania
2
Department of Theoretical Psychology, Vytautas Magnus University, K. Donelaicio str. 58, 44248 Kaunas, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 22 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

Objective: The impact of maternal psychosocial stress on young children’s mental difficulties is unclear. This study investigated the joint effects of the socioeconomic status and parent-child relationships on emotional and behavioral difficulties in preschool children. Methods: The case-control study included 1416 mothers and their 4–6 year-old children pairs, living in Kaunas city, Lithuania. The parent-child relationships were measured using the Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction subscale. Children’s mental health difficulties were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. We used logistic regression models to indicate the strength of the associations. Results: Lower socioeconomic status women more often than higher ones reported pathological mother-child relations. Low education level was associated with statistically significant increase adjusted odds ratios for emotional symptoms and total behavioral difficulties. With reference to the group of better-educated mothers and normal mother-child relations, low education and pathological mother-child relations statistically significantly increased the risk of total difficulties in 4–6 year-old children; the adjusted odds ratios were 2.45; 95% CI 1.51–3.99. Conclusions: Pathological mother-child relations strengthened the effect of lower education on the increased risk of emotional and behavioral difficulties in preschool-age children. Measures oriented towards health behavior and psychosocial difficulties management may decrease children’s emotional and behavioral difficulties. View Full-Text
Keywords: education level; psychosocial stress; mother-child relationships; children mental difficulties education level; psychosocial stress; mother-child relationships; children mental difficulties
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Grazuleviciene, R.; Andrusaityte, S.; Petraviciene, I.; Balseviciene, B. Impact of Psychosocial Environment on Young Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1278.

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