Testing a social ecological model for relations between political violence and child adjustment in Northern Ireland

Robert Cummings, C.E. Merrilees, A.C. Schermerhorn, M.C. Goeke-Morey, Peter Shirlow, E. Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Relations between political violence and child adjustment are matters of international concern. Past research demonstrates the significance of community, family, and child psychological processes in child adjustment, supporting study of interrelations between multiple social ecological factors and child adjustment in contexts of political violence. Testing a social ecological model, 300 mothers and their children (M = 12.28 years, SD = 1.77) from Catholic and Protestant working class neighborhoods in Belfast, Northern Ireland, completed measures or community discord, family relations, and children's regulatory processes (i.e., emotional security) and outcomes. Historical political violence in neighborhoods based on objective records (i.e., politically motivated deaths) were related to family members' reports of current sectarian antisocial behavior and nonsectarian antisocial behavior. Interparental conflict and parental monitoring and children's emotional security about both the community and family contributed to explanatory pathways for relations between sectarian antisocial behavior in communities and children's adjustment problems. The discussion evaluates support for social ecological models for relations between political violence and child adjustment and its implications for understanding relations in other parts of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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