Merrilees, Christine E.
Merrilees, Christine E.
Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
- PublicationBidirectional effects between maternal mental health and adolescent internalizing problems across six years in Northern Ireland(Wiley, 2022-06)
; ; ; ;Emerging evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional relations between mothers’ mental health and adolescent adjustment, but few studies have examined these relations in contexts of high environmental adversity, including economic deprivation and political violence. Given other empirical connections between political violence and adolescent adjustment problems (Cummings et al., 2017), the impact of child adjustment problems on maternal mental health may be exacerbated in contexts of sectarian violence. Addressing this gap, latent change score modeling was used to examine interrelations between trajectories of maternal mental health and adolescent internalizing symptoms over time in communities afflicted by political conflict. Over six years, a total of 999 adolescent-mother dyads participated in a longitudinal study in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Six-hundred ninety-five families were originally recruited in year 1, with 304 recruited to supplement the sample in year 3; the largest available sample for a given year was 760 families. Models including maternal mental health, adolescent internalizing symptomatology, and political violence (i.e., sectarian antisocial behavior) as a time-varying covariate were tested. Results demonstrated that for both mothers and adolescents in a dyadic pairing, higher rates of symptomology in one member of the dyad were related to symptoms observed in the other member. Results also suggest that political violence and factors related to social deprivation increased symptoms across the dyad. This study advances understanding of the bidirectional impact between maternal mental health and adolescent internalizing over time in contexts of political violence. 72
- PublicationTrust, Forgiveness and Peace: The Influence of Adolescent Social Identity in a Setting of Intergroup Conflict(SAGE, 2022-03)
; ; ; ; ;Following the signing of peace agreements, post-accord societies often remain deeply divided across group lines. There is a need to identify antecedents of youth’s support for peace and establish more constructive intergroup relations. This article explored the effect of out-group trust, intergroup forgiveness and social identity on support for the peace process among youth from the historic majority and minorities communities in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The sample comprised of 667 adolescents (49% male; M=15.74, SD=1.99 years old) across two time points. Results from the structural equation model suggested that out-group trust was related to intergroup forgiveness over time, while forgiveness related to later support for the peace process. Strength of in-group social identity differentially moderated how out-group trust and intergroup forgiveness relate to later support for peace among youth from the conflict-related groups (i.e., Protestants and Catholics). Implications for consolidating peace in Northern Ireland are discussed, which may be relevant to other settings affected by intergroup conflict. 8Scopus© Citations 5
- PublicationAge as a Dynamic Moderator of Relations between Exposure to Political Conflict and Mental Health in Belfast, Northern Ireland(MDPI, 2022-07-08)
; ; ; ;Identifying how, when, and under what conditions exposure to political conflict is associated with youth mental health problems is critical to developing programming to help youth exposed to various forms of political violence. The current study uses Time Varying Effects Modeling (TVEM) to examine how relations between exposure to ethno-politically motivated antisocial behavior and mental health problems change as a function of age in a sample of youth from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Young people (N = 583, Mage 16.51 wave 1, 17.23 wave 2) self-reported their exposure to sectarian antisocial behavior, nonsectarian antisocial behavior, and mental health problems as part of a longitudinal study of youth across multiple neighborhoods in Belfast. The results suggest mental health problems and associations with exposure to sectarian antisocial behavior change in nonlinear patterns throughout adolescence, with the strongest links between exposure to political conflict and mental health between ages 16 and 19. Significant relations between nonsectarian antisocial behavior and mental health problems were not indicated for the full sample but the results suggested a relation emerged in later adolescence for Protestant youth, the historical majority group. The value of this exploratory approach to examining relations between key context and psychological variables for youth in contexts of political tension and violence is discussed. 7Scopus© Citations 1