Skip to main content
Journal cover image

Early life adversity and psychopathology in preschoolers: mechanisms and moderators.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Davis, MM; Navarro, E; Carpenter, KLH; Copeland, WE; Small, B; Egger, HL; Sheridan, MA
Published in: Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry
September 19, 2023

Developmental theories suggest that exposure to early life adversity (ELA) alters developing emotional response systems, predicting risk for psychopathology across the life span. The present study examines whether negative emotionality (NE), a trait-like measure of emotionality that develops during early childhood, mediates the association between ELA and psychopathology in a representative sample of 917 preschoolers (Mage = 3.84). Additionally, we explored whether cognitive control, which supports attentional focusing and inhibition and has been identified as a transdiagnostic protective factor, moderates the impact of heightened emotionality following adversity on psychopathology risk. We utilized parent report of adversity, psychopathology, and NE and parent report and task-based measures of cognitive control. Structural equation modeling of cross-sectional data revealed that NE partially mediated the link between ELA and psychopathology symptoms. Moreover, parent-reported cognitive control buffered this link such that the effect of ELA on psychopathology through NE was stronger in children with low versus high cognitive control. These results identify elevated NE as one mechanism linking ELA and psychopathology, specifically among children with poorer top-down control, informing our understanding of key risk and protective factors among adversity-exposed children.

Duke Scholars

Altmetric Attention Stats
Dimensions Citation Stats

Published In

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry

DOI

EISSN

1435-165X

Publication Date

September 19, 2023

Location

Germany

Related Subject Headings

  • Developmental & Child Psychology
  • 5203 Clinical and health psychology
  • 5201 Applied and developmental psychology
  • 3202 Clinical sciences
  • 1701 Psychology
  • 1103 Clinical Sciences
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Davis, M. M., Navarro, E., Carpenter, K. L. H., Copeland, W. E., Small, B., Egger, H. L., & Sheridan, M. A. (2023). Early life adversity and psychopathology in preschoolers: mechanisms and moderators. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-023-02295-5
Davis, Megan M., Esmeralda Navarro, Kimberly L. H. Carpenter, William E. Copeland, Brian Small, Helen L. Egger, and Margaret A. Sheridan. “Early life adversity and psychopathology in preschoolers: mechanisms and moderators.Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry, September 19, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-023-02295-5.
Davis MM, Navarro E, Carpenter KLH, Copeland WE, Small B, Egger HL, et al. Early life adversity and psychopathology in preschoolers: mechanisms and moderators. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2023 Sep 19;
Davis, Megan M., et al. “Early life adversity and psychopathology in preschoolers: mechanisms and moderators.Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry, Sept. 2023. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s00787-023-02295-5.
Davis MM, Navarro E, Carpenter KLH, Copeland WE, Small B, Egger HL, Sheridan MA. Early life adversity and psychopathology in preschoolers: mechanisms and moderators. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2023 Sep 19;
Journal cover image

Published In

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry

DOI

EISSN

1435-165X

Publication Date

September 19, 2023

Location

Germany

Related Subject Headings

  • Developmental & Child Psychology
  • 5203 Clinical and health psychology
  • 5201 Applied and developmental psychology
  • 3202 Clinical sciences
  • 1701 Psychology
  • 1103 Clinical Sciences