Child neglect robustly predicts many behavioral problems and adulthood mental disorders, but little is known about its association with daily lifestyles and psychological development during childhood, particularly in the longitudinal study. We aimed to examine the association of child neglect with physical activity (PA), screen time (ST), eating habits (EHs), and depression/self-esteem using a two-wave follow-up study of primary schoolchildren in Wuhan, China. Data of 1085 schoolchildren aged 8-10 years (boys: 53.5%) were analyzed. Child neglect, lifestyles, and depression/self-esteem were collected in 2018 (T1) and 2019 (T2). Autoregressive cross-lagged models (ARCLMs) were fitted to explore the interrelationships among these variables. In ARCLM including child neglect and lifestyles, higher child neglect at T1 was significantly associated with higher ST and more risky EHs at T2, while insignificantly associated with PA. In ARCLM including child neglect and depression/self-esteem, lower T1 child neglect significantly predicted a higher T2 depression, but insignificantly for T2 self-esteem. In ARCLM including all variables, child neglect still significantly predicted later ST and depression, but insignificantly predicted EHs. Our study underscores that child neglect is strongly intertwined with ST, EHs, and depression during childhood. The prevention of child neglect may promote some healthy lifestyles and depression in children.Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
About The Expert
Robert A Eckhart