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Disentangling the Influence of Socioeconomic Risks on Children's Early Self-Control

Ng-Knight, Terry and Schoon, Ingrid (2016) Disentangling the Influence of Socioeconomic Risks on Children's Early Self-Control Journal of Personality, 85 (6). pp. 793-806.

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Previous studies have shown that individual differences in self‐control emerge early in childhood and predict a range of important outcomes throughout childhood and adulthood. There is, however, less knowledge about the social origins of self‐control, including the mechanisms by which early socioeconomic adversity may lead to lower levels of self‐control. This study aimed to extend understanding of the link between socioeconomic adversity and self‐control by (a) testing which individual aspects of socioeconomic risk uniquely predict lower self‐control; (b) testing whether objective socioeconomic risk operates independently of, or via, subjective parental stress; and (c) examining the interplay of socioeconomic risk factors and individual differences in children's temperament as predictors of early self‐control.


Data were from a UK population birth cohort of 18,552 children born in 2000 and 2001.


Multiple individual socioeconomic risk factors have independent associations with children's self‐control, including low parental education, income, and occupational class; insecure housing tenure; and younger parenthood. Results point to independent additive effects of exposure to objective and subjective risk. There was evidence of mothers' subjective stress partially mediating objective socioeconomic risks but only weak evidence of hypothesized interaction effects between temperament and socioeconomic risk.


Results were consistent with additive risk and bioecological perspectives.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Schoon, Ingrid
Date : 7 November 2016
Funders : Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
DOI : 10.1111/jopy.12288
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Personality Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Self-control; Self-regulation; Effortful control; Socioeconomic risk; Temperament
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 20 Jun 2018 13:41
Last Modified : 11 Dec 2018 11:24

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