Children in homeless families have high levels of adversity and are at risk for behavior problems and chronic health conditions, however little is known about the relationship between cognitive-emotional self-regulation and health among school-aged homeless children. Children (n = 86; mean age 10.5) living in shelters were assessed for health, family stress/adversity, emotional-behavioral regulation, nonverbal intellectual abilities, and executive function. Vision problems were the most prevalent health condition, followed by chronic respiratory conditions. Cumulative risk, child executive function, and self-regulation problems in children were uniquely related to child physical health. Homeless children experience problems with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral regulation as well as physical health, occurring in a context of high psychosocial risk. Several aspects of children’s self-regulation predict physical health in 9- to 11-year-old homeless children. Health promotion efforts in homeless families should address individual differences in children’s self-regulation as a resilience factor.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by NIH grant #UL1TR000114. The authors thank the children, parents, administrators, and staff at People Serving People and Mary?s Place; and faculty, staff, and students from the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development.
Acknowledgments: This study was supported by NIH grant #UL1TR000114. The authors thank the children, parents, administrators, and staff at People Serving People and Mary’s Place; and faculty, staff, and students from the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development.
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Child development
- Chronic health conditions
- Cognitive functioning
- Family homelessness
- Middle childhood
- Psychosocial risk
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article