Katherine Marcal (Social Work) published an article, "Demographic and Socioeconomic Predictors of Behavioral Trajectories from Age 3 to 15: A Longitudinal Mixed Effects Approach," in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. This study used a large, nationally representative sample of at-risk families to investigate the effects of a range of socioeconomic factors and behavioral trajectories across childhood. Linear mixed effects models compared behavioral trajectories by gender, as well as the longitudinal effects of socioeconomic status on internalizing and externalizing behavior problems accounting for within- and between-child differences from age 3 to 15. Findings suggest unique developmental trajectories by gender whereby girls display more persistent internalizing problems and African American boys face highest risk for externalizing problems. Children in socioeconomically disadvantaged families face elevated risk for behavior problems, but the home environment remains an opportunity for prevention.
She also published an article, "Caregiver Depression and Child Behaviour Problems: A Longitudinal Mixed Effects Approach," in the journal Child and Family Social Work. The study leveraged a large, nationally representative sample of at-risk mothers to examine the relationship between maternal depression and child behavior problems in the transition from childhood to adolescence. Results showed caregiver depression is related with increases in both child internalizing and externalizing problems, and these relationships strengthened over time. Findings inform risk trajectories of distinct behavioral problems, shedding light on the development of child psychopathology and highlighting opportunities for intervention.