"This study utilized latent profile analyses to identify unique configurations of children’s family-based social experiences during the first 3 years of life and examine differences across profiles with respect to developmental outcomes at 36 and 48 months of age. Seven family process variables were used: maternal emotional functioning, maternal sensitivity, negative controlling parenting, cognitive stimulation, corporal punishment, adult-adult aggression, and household disorganization. Data were collected by the Family Life Project (N = 1,087), a longitudinal study of families living in low-wealth, nonurban areas, for whom the biological mother was the child’s primary caregiver from 6 to 36 months of age. On average, mothers were 26 years of age at 2 months of child age. Approximately 36% of the families lived below the federal poverty limit, and 41% identified as Black; 49% of children were female. Latent profile analyses identified four groups: (a) positive exposure (b) average exposure, (c) problematic adult functioning, and (d) problematic parenting . Comparisons indicate that children in the positive exposure profile had the highest levels of socioemotional and cognitive outcomes compared to overall profiles. Children in the problematic adult functioning and problematic parenting profiles had the most problematic child outcomes, with children in the problematic parenting profile scoring lowest overall. Results indicate that there is configural heterogeneity in family-based social experiences at the highest levels of risk and that exposures to problematic parenting may be more consequential for later child outcomes than exposures to problematic adult functioning in the absence of compromised caregiving."
Mills-Koonce, W. R., Towe-Goodman, N., Swingler, M. M., & Willoughby, M. T. (2021). Profiles of family-based social experiences in the first 3 years predict early cognitive, behavioral, and socioemotional competencies. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication.