The current article reviews extant literature on the intersection between poverty and the development of conduct problems (CP) in early childhood. Associations between exposure to poverty and disruptive behavior are reviewed through the framework of models emphasizing how the stressors associated with poverty indirectly influence child CP by compromising parent psychological resources, investments in children's welfare, and/or caregiving quality. We expand on the best-studied model, the family stress model, by emphasizing the mediating contribution of parent psychological resources on children's risk for early CP, in addition to the mediating effects of parenting. Specifically, we focus on the contribution of maternal depression, in terms of both compromising parenting quality and exposing children to higher levels of stressful events and contexts. Implications of the adapted family stress model are then discussed in terms of its implications for the prevention and treatment of young children's emerging CP.


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