Early socioemotional competence, psychopathology, and latent class profiles of reparative prosocial behaviors from preschool through early adolescence

Meghan Rose Donohue, Rebecca Tillman, Joan Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children who have difficulty using reparative behaviors following transgressions display a wide range of poorer social and emotional outcomes. Despite the importance of reparative skills, no study has charted the developmental trajectory of these behaviors or pinpointed predictors of poorer reparative abilities. To address these gaps in the literature, this study applied growth mixture modeling to parent reports of children's reparative behaviors (N = 230) in a 9-year longitudinal data set spanning from preschool to early adolescence. Three distinct trajectories of reparative behaviors were found: a low-stable, moderate-stable, and high-stable latent class. Poorer emotion understanding, social withdrawal, social rejection, and maladaptive guilt in the preschool period predicted membership in a low-stable reparative trajectory. Externalizing diagnoses, particularly conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, also predicted membership in a low-stable reparative trajectory. Preschool-onset depression predicted membership in a low-stable reparative trajectory through high levels of maladaptive guilt. The findings from this study suggest that socioemotional deficits in the preschool period set children on longstanding trajectories of impaired reparative responding. Thus, emotion understanding, social functioning, maladaptive guilt, and early psychiatric symptoms should be targeted in early preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-585
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • emotion understanding
  • growth mixture modeling
  • preschool depression
  • reparative behaviors
  • social functioning

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