Aggressive marital conflict and harsh parenting (family aggression) are highly prevalent. Chronic exposure to family aggression elevates adolescents'risk for antisocial and risky behavior, depressed mood, and cognitive decrements - significant public health problems that increase in prevalence and severity during adolescence. Explaining variability in trajectories of adaptation in the context of family aggression - why some adolescent's exhibit resilience and others deteriorate - is a critical need for science and practice. Findings stemming from the proposed study will illuminate autonomic nervous system activity and sleep regulation variables (bioregulatory processes), as well as economic and social context (peer affiliation) variables, which may mediate the risk of family aggression or operate to exacerbate or protect against its effects on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral maladjustment from late childhood through late adolescence. The design builds on a well-characterized 3-wave study;children ranged between 8-11 years across waves. The proposed study will involve 3 additional waves with a 1-year lag: 50% girls, ~14-15 years at T4, with high representation of both African-American and lower SES families. Study constructs are assessed with multiple informants and measures. Sleep parameters are examined objectively, via actigraphy, and subjectively. ANS activity (sympathetic and parasympathetic) is measured with standard indices, and reactivity is assessed with well-established lab procedures. The large and diverse sample, breadth of measurement across important adolescent outcome domains, and a 6-wave longitudinal design will permit analyses of long- term developmental trajectories, interactions among biopsychosocial processes, and profiles of family, bioregulatory and socioecological risk. The proposed study will create new knowledge in areas of great significance through investigations of bioregularoty and socioecological variables that have the potential to enhance understanding of risk among adolescents exposed to family aggression and to identify physiological, behavioral, and ecological targets for intervention. Outcome variables include public health priorities, such as behavioral and emotional adjustment, academic performance (PA-07-046, Research on Mind-Body Interactions and Health), violence (PA-09-169, Research on Teen Dating Violence), and sleep disturbances (PA-07-140, Research on Sleep and Sleep Disorders). Hypotheses will be tested across a wide range of socioecological contexts with a diverse community sample (PA-07-379, Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities). Other key strengths include our focus on estimating trajectories of adolescent functioning across multiple domains;considering the direction of effects between constructs;and comparing the strength of associations at different time points across development.

Public Health Relevance

Aggressive marital conflict and harsh parenting are highly prevalent and elevate adolescents'risk for antisocial and risky behavior, depressed mood, and cognitive decrements- significant public health problems that increase in prevalence and severity during adolescence. However, the potential effects of bioregulatory and socioecological variables on trajectories of adolescent adjustment in the context of family aggression are not well understood. The proposed study will illuminate autonomic nervous system activity, sleep regulation, and socioecological variables that may mediate the risk of family aggression or operate to exacerbate or protect against its effects on adolescent functioning across multiple domains from late childhood through late adolescence, which will help identify behavioral, physiological, and ecological targets for prevention and intervention.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
2R01HD046795-06A1
Application #
8368150
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-T (02))
Program Officer
Maholmes, Valerie
Project Start
2012-08-01
Project End
2017-05-31
Budget Start
2012-08-01
Budget End
2013-05-31
Support Year
6
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$568,219
Indirect Cost
$163,368
Name
Auburn University at Auburn
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Allied Health Profes
DUNS #
066470972
City
Auburn University
State
AL
Country
United States
Zip Code
36849
El-Sheikh, Mona; Tu, Kelly M; Erath, Stephen A et al. (2014) Family stress and adolescents' cognitive functioning: sleep as a protective factor. J Fam Psychol 28:887-96
El-Sheikh, Mona; Keiley, Margaret; Erath, Stephen et al. (2013) Marital conflict and growth in children's internalizing symptoms: the role of autonomic nervous system activity. Dev Psychol 49:92-108
Kelly, Ryan J; El-Sheikh, Mona (2013) Longitudinal relations between marital aggression and children's sleep: the role of emotional insecurity. J Fam Psychol 27:282-92
Hinnant, J Benjamin; El-Sheikh, Mona (2013) Codevelopment of externalizing and internalizing symptoms in middle to late childhood: sex, baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity as predictors. Dev Psychopathol 25:419-36
Hinnant, J Benjamin; El-Sheikh, Mona; Keiley, Margaret et al. (2013) Marital conflict, allostatic load, and the development of children's fluid cognitive performance. Child Dev 84:2003-14
Rauer, Amy J; El-Sheikh, Mona (2012) Reciprocal pathways between intimate partner violence and sleep in men and women. J Fam Psychol 26:470-7
Wetter, Emily K; El-Sheikh, Mona (2012) Trajectories of children's internalizing symptoms: the role of maternal internalizing symptoms, respiratory sinus arrhythmia and child sex. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 53:168-77
El-Sheikh, Mona; Arsiwalla, Dilbur D; Hinnant, J Benjamin et al. (2011) Children's internalizing symptoms: the role of interactions between cortisol and respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Physiol Behav 103:225-32
Erath, Stephen A; El-Sheikh, Mona; Hinnant, J Benjamin et al. (2011) Skin conductance level reactivity moderates the association between harsh parenting and growth in child externalizing behavior. Dev Psychol 47:693-706
Bub, Kristen L; Buckhalt, Joseph A; El-Sheikh, Mona (2011) Children's sleep and cognitive performance: a cross-domain analysis of change over time. Dev Psychol 47:1504-14

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