The present study examined the longitudinal relations between psychopathology and social competence in a sample of 115 Chinese children during the transition to preschool initiated in their third year of life. Social competence was assessed by maternal reports at three months after preschool entry (T1) and at the end of the first (T2) and second (T3) preschool years. Internalizing and externalizing symptoms were assessed by maternal reports at T1 and T2. The results showed that T1 externalizing predicted rank-order decreases in social competence from T2 to T3. T1 Internalizing predicted rank-order decreases in social competence from T1 to T2 but growth of competence from T1 to T3 and rank-order increases in competence from T2 to T3. Rank-order decreases in internalizing from T1 to T2 also predicted rank-order increases in social competence from T2 to T3. These longitudinal relations held across gender and proved robust to the inclusion of broad individual and family process variables as covariates. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
CitationZhang, X. (2012). The longitudinal interplay of psychopathology and social competence during Chinese children's transition to preschool. Infant and Child Development, 22(2), 198-215.
- Social competence
- Internalizing symptoms
- Externalizing symptoms
- Longitudinal relations