Sensitivity to reinforcement and family factors as predictors of psychological health problems in different age groups of children and teenagers



The follow-up study was designed to assess and to compare the effects of sensitivity to reward, sensitivity to punishment and family environment on internalizing and externalizing problems in a community sample of 477 children and adolescents aged 3-18 (50% female). The level of problem behavior at Time 1 in all age groups was the best predictor of corresponding type of problem level at Time 2; the residual variance in problem behavior was also predicted by sensitivity to reinforcement. Family factors contributed for change in externalizing problems and hyperactivity in preschool and middle childhood children; living in the urban environment was significant factor for peer problem. The study showed that individual differences interact with the family factors in the process of development, and family environment could strengthen or mitigate the influence of biological factors on children and adolescents’ adjustment.

General Information

Keywords: problem behavior, sensitivity to reinforcement, family factors, children and adolescents

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Kuznetsova V. Sensitivity to reinforcement and family factors as predictors of psychological health problems in different age groups of children and teenagers [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2013. Vol. 2, no. 1 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Valeria Kuznetsova, research fellow, State Research Institute of Physiology, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Science, Novosibirsk, Russia, e-mail:



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