Community Adversity and Children’s Mental Health: Moderating Effects of Caregiver Service Utilization and Race on Children’s Internalizing and Externalizing Problems
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
This study examined the relationship between community adversity and childhood internalizing and externalizing problems, and whether this relationship is moderated by service utilization and race. The study involved 3225 children ages 2–17, and their caregivers, who participated in the second cohort of the National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Bivariate correlation and regression analysis indicate that childhood internalizing problems were correlated with sex and community adversity. Children externalizing problems were correlated with race, sex, service utilization, and community adversity. Childhood internalizing and externalizing problems were highly correlated. Regression analysis reveals a strong relationship between community adversity and childhood externalizing problems. Service utilization was found to significantly and positively moderate the relationship between community adversity and externalizing problems. While a strong correlation between race and childhood externalizing problems exist, race did not moderate the relationship between community adversity and externalizing problems. Internalizing problems were excluded from the regression analysis since it did not correlate with any of the moderator variables. The findings are discussed and the study limitations are examined. Implications for child welfare practice, policy, and research are highlighted.
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Briggs, H.E., Quinn, A., Orellana, E.R. et al. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2015) 32: 555.