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Published in Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 27 (2006) 456–467.


Hypotheses that positive affect and fear in infancy moderate later relationships between neighborhood quality and behavior problems were examined in a sample of children from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Results suggested that poor neighborhood quality was associated with antisocial behavior at age 6 for children who in infancy were characterized by either high positive affect and low fear or by low positive affect and high fear. Depression/anxiety increased from age 6 to age 12 for children in poor quality neighborhoods who were characterized in infancy by low positive affect. A combination of low fear and high positive affect in infancy appeared to be protective, as it was associated with decreases in depression/anxiety during childhood. These findings suggest the utility of examining multiple dimensions of temperament and of integrating multiple levels of influence into moderational models to understand and prevent the development of childhood symptomatology.

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