Journal article

Vocabulary Development and Trajectories of Behavioral and Emotional Difficulties Via Academic Ability and Peer Problems

Elizabeth M Westrupp, Sheena Reilly, Cristina McKean, James Law, Fiona Mensah, Jan M Nicholson

CHILD DEVELOPMENT | WILEY | Published : 2020


This study investigates associations between trajectories of children's vocabulary development and subsequent behavioral and emotional difficulties via two potential mediating mechanisms; literacy and peer problems. Nationally representative data from 4,983 Australian children were used to examine trajectories of receptive vocabulary (4-5, 6-7, and 8-9 years) and hyperactivity-inattention, conduct problems and emotional symptoms (8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15 years), and literacy and peer problems (8-9 years). Lower growth in vocabulary was related to trajectories of hyperactivity-inattention, conduct problems, and emotional symptoms. Literacy was a key mediator explaining these associations. Res..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This article uses confidential unit record files from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) survey. The LSAC project was initiated and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services (formerly the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) and was managed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. The findings and views reported in this article are those of the authors and should not be attributed to these services. We thank all the families participating in the LSAC study.