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Economic Stress in the Family and Children's Emotional and Behavioral Problems

David T. Takeuchi, David R. Williams and Russell K. Adair
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 53, No. 4 (Nov., 1991), pp. 1031-1041
DOI: 10.2307/353006
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353006
Page Count: 11
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Economic Stress in the Family and Children's Emotional and Behavioral Problems
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Abstract

This study examines the relationship between two measures of economic stress—welfare status and perceived financial stress—and children's emotional and behavioral problems. Longitudinal data from the National Survey of Children are used to test two hypotheses. The first hypothesis predicts that economic stress will adversely affect children's emotional and behavioral problems. Levels of depressive symptoms, impulsive behavior, and antisocial behavior are found to be higher among children who experienced either form of economic stress at least once between 1976 and 1981 compared to those who were unaffected by economic stress. The second hypothesis predicts that the presence of economic stress at both data collection points will have a more adverse impact than economic stress experienced at only one time point. Results provide only limited support for the persistence hypothesis. Research is needed to identify the specific processes by which economic stress affects children's well-being.

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