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Social Inequalities in Child and Adolescent Antisocial Behaviour

Piotrowska, Patrycja J. (2015) Social Inequalities in Child and Adolescent Antisocial Behaviour. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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A number of studies have demonstrated a social gradient in antisocial behaviour, with children from low-socioeconomic backgrounds exhibiting more behavioural difficulties than those from high-socioeconomic families. However, this relationship has not always been reported and estimates of association vary in magnitude across the studies. Moreover, a range of studies have highlighted the indirect nature of this relationship and examined potential mediating variables. It remains unclear whether socioeconomic status (SES) presents similar associations with a range of heterogeneous forms of antisocial behaviour in terms of their gradient and underlying mechanisms. Three studies were conducted to address the nature of the relationship between family SES and children’s antisocial behaviour. In Study 1 (Chapter 2), an extensive systematic review and meta-analysis reported that SES can be considered a major correlate of broadly conceptualised antisocial behaviour and the strength of this relationship is a function of the type of informant and the construct under investigation; stronger relationships were found when antisocial behaviour was reported by parents or teachers, and when callous-unemotional traits were considered as an outcome. Study 2 (Chapter 3) investigated the level, direction, and homogeneity of the impact of household income upon different types of antisocial behaviour in a series of structural equation models using the B-CAMHS 2004 dataset. This study showed that income gradients are similar across a range of antisocial behaviours (such as irritability, aggressive behaviours, callous-unemotional traits), and that income may lead to greater behavioural differences in the mid-income range, and less variation at low- and high-income extremes. Study 3 (Chapter 4) concerns models delineating potential mechanisms indicating that unhealthy family functioning, neighbourhood disadvantage, stressful life events and children’s reading and spelling abilities mediate the relationship between income and antisocial behaviour. The findings arising from the three studies described and their collective contribution are considered in terms of current literature; further theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Patrycja J. Piotrowska
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 14:55
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2015 14:55
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8121

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