Differential parent-child relationships and adolescent externalizing symptoms: Cross-lagged analyses within a monozygotic twin differences design

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Abstract

Research has indicated that differential parental treatment is linked to differences in externalizing symptomology (EXT) across siblings, even those siblings who are genetically identical. However, the direction of causation and longitudinal significance of this relationship remains unclear. Thus, in the present study, the authors examined 486 monozygotic twin pairs, assessed at ages 11, 14, and 17 years, within a cross-lagged twin differences design. Results revealed that differential parent-child conflict at age 11 years uniquely contributed to differential sibling EXT 3 years later but only in the most discordant twin pairs. In the full, unselected sample, this relationship was not significant. These results suggest that markedly different parent-child conflict has an environmentally mediated impact on child behavior through mid-adolescence, findings that yield insights into environmental influences on behavior. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1298
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • Environmental influences
  • Externalizing disorders
  • Monozygotic twins
  • Nature nurture
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Twin differences

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