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Publication Detail
Effects of creativity on social and behavioral adjustment in 7- to 11-year-old children.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Fancourt D, Steptoe A
  • Publisher:
    New York Academy of Sciences
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    behavioral adjustment, children, creativity, depression, maladjustment, social adjustment
This study sought to explore whether creativity in undertaking activities such as free writing, telling a story, crafts, painting, drawing, or drama at age 7 is associated with a lower risk of social and behavioral maladjustment in children at the onset of adolescence. Data from 7558 7-year-olds who were socially and behaviorally "stable" at baseline were analyzed from the nationally representative National Child Development Study. Multinomial regression analyses showed associations between teacher-rated creativity at age 7 and a lower relative risk of social and behavioral instability and maladjustment at age 11. Specifically, the associations were found between moderate and marked creativity and a lower risk of symptoms of internalizing behaviors (including depression and withdrawal), externalizing behaviors (such as restlessness) as well as a lower risk of various nervous symptoms of social and behavioral instability and maladjustment. Associations were independent of social, demographic, educational, parental, academic, and personality covariates, and robust to a range of sensitivity analyses. These results suggest that facilitating engagement with creative activities could be explored further as a way of reducing levels of instability and maladjustment at the onset of adolescence.
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