The extent to which certain maternal, child and family characteristics are associated in families with a 3-year-old child were examined.
A total population of families with a 3-year-old child and living in the New Forest were identified. Measures of child behaviour and the maternal GHQ-30 were obtained.
Whereas behaviour problems were found to be significantly associated with all maternal and family factors (except social class), difficult temperament was only related to mother's recall of their own childhood as unhappy and overactivity was only significantly associated with maternal disturbance.
The results are consistent with maternal disturbance and difficult temperament acting independently and additively to influence the development of behaviour problems in preschool children.
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