Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 490–504 | Cite as

Change in Risk Patterns Across Early Childhood and Children’s First-grade Adjustment

  • Ni YanEmail author
  • Arya Ansari
  • Kierra M. P. Sattler
  • Nan Zhou
Original Paper


Exposure to early risks are linked with less optimal child development across domains. These contextual risks may display various configurations and each configuration could be linked to specific developmental outcomes. Based on 1364 mother–child dyads from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care, this study examined the different risk profiles children experienced in early development and how changes in these profiles over time predicted a wide range in their school adjustment. Using latent class analysis (LCA), we found that children’s contextual risks could be characterized by one of the five risk typologies at each assessment from 6-months to first grade: low risk, high socio-cultural risk, high psychological risk, high socio-economic risk, and high risk across domains. Moreover, these risk profiles they experienced were fairly stable over time: children rarely moved in or out of certain risk classes from infancy through middle childhood. As a function of these risk typologies they experienced across time, children demonstrated different levels of academic and socio-emotional adjustment in first grade. These findings link configurations of risks children experience across infancy and early childhood to their first-grade adjustment observed by multiple informants.


Contextual risks Person-oriented Longitudinal patterns Child adjustment First grade 



The author acknowledges the support of grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China for Young Scholar (31500904, PI: N.Y.), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R24 HD42849, PI: Mark Hayward; T32 HD007081-35, PI: Kelly Raley), and the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (R305B130013, University of Virginia).

Author Contributions

N.Y.: designed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. A.A.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study. K.S.: analyzed the data and wrote the results. N.Z.: collaborated with the design and analysis of the data.

Compliance with Ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Southwest University. This study analyzed secondary dataset from NICHD SECCYD.

Informed Consent

All data collection was approved by the appropriate institutional review boards for each of 10 U.S. study sites in the NICHD-SECCYD, and written informed consent was received from each family.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ni Yan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arya Ansari
    • 2
  • Kierra M. P. Sattler
    • 3
  • Nan Zhou
    • 4
  1. 1.Southwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.University of VirginiaVirginiaUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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