A moderated transactional link between child behavioral problems and parenting: A longitudinal- and behavioral- genetic study

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Virginia Tech


Parenting behaviors and a variety of behavioral problems in children covary. The current study first aimed to examine how and why parenting and child behavioral problems are linked in middle childhood. In particular, a longitudinal design (1364 children assessed from 54 months to 5th grade) was used to examine whether the developmental link between parenting and child behavioral problems were reciprocal. A twin design (131 pairs of monozygotic and 173 pairs of dizygotic twins assessed from 6 to 8 years of age on average) was used to examine the underlying genetic and nongenetic etiology of this link. In addition, using these two samples, the current study also aimed to examine whether parental attributes, including negative affect, executive function, and social cognitive factors, modulate the link between parenting and child behavioral problems. Results across these two studies suggested that parenting and child behavioral problems mutually influenced the development of each other over time, potentially through both evocative and passive gene-environment correlation processes and environmental transmissions. In addition, maternal dispositional anger modulated the effects of child behavioral problems on changes in maternal parenting quality over time. Finally, implications of the current study were also discussed.



parenting, behavioral problems, longitudinal, behavioral genetics