Journal of Geography  & Natural Disasters

Journal of Geography  & Natural Disasters
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0587


The Association of Parent-Reported Lead Exposure with Language Skills and Externalizing Behavioral Problems in Children

Brian B Boutwell, Kevin M Beaver and JC Barnes

An impressive amount of research has begun to suggest that language deficits and externalizing behavioral problems in children are closely connected. To this point, however, little research has been aimed at examining potential risk factors that might disrupt both the development of behavior and the acquisition of language in early childhood. Findings from empirical-based studies have consistently indicated that lead exposure is a risk factor for myriad negative outcomes in children. We build off this literature and examine the effects of lead exposure on both language development and externalizing problem behaviors. The current study analyzes data drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study in order to investigate the effects of parentally reported lead exposure on verbal intelligence and externalizing problems in children. Our findings suggest that the development of externalizing problems and language deficits appear to share a common pathway which may be vulnerable to the deleterious influence of lead exposure.