Early childhood predictors of global competence in adolescence for youth with typical development or intellectual disability

Christine T. Moody, Naomi V. Rodas, Amanda N. Norona, Jan Blacher, Keith A. Crnic, Bruce L. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background and aims: We aimed to determine whether a second-order global competence latent factor could be identified as underlying relations between adolescent mental health, social skills, and academic functioning. A secondary aim was to test whether early childhood characteristics predict adolescent global competence. A final aim was to test differences in these models across youth with typical cognitive development (TD) or intellectual disability (ID). Methods and procedures: Participants were 246 youth with TD (n = 148) or ID (n = 98), with assessments from early childhood (3, 4, 5 years) and adolescence (13, 15). These youths' parents and teachers provided measures. A Multiple Indicator, Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model was tested using structural equation modeling, in which parenting, maternal depression, and emotional dysregulation in early childhood were entered as predictors of adolescent global competence. Outcomes and results: A second-order global competence factor emerged, and was predicted by early childhood variables. The final MIMIC model demonstrated excellent fit. Negative parenting in early childhood predicted lower adolescent global competence for both TD and ID youth. Maternal depression predicted adolescent global competence only for youth with ID, while emotion dysregulation predicted only for youth with TD. Conclusions and implications: Results have implications for longitudinal mechanisms of influence and early intervention targets for specific populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103462
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Adolescence
  • Competence
  • Early childhood
  • Intellectual disability
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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