Disentangling the relative contribution of parental antisociality and family discord to child disruptive disorders

Marina A. Bornovalova, Ryan Blazei, Steve Malone, Matt Mc Gue, William G Iacono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

A number of familial risk factors for childhood disruptive disorders have been identified. However, many of these risk factors often co-occur with parental antisociality, which by itself may account for both the familial risk factors and the increased likelihood of offspring disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs). The current study aimed to examine the association of parenting behaviors, marital conflict, and divorce with child DBDs while accounting for (a) coparent parenting behaviors, and (b) parental adult antisocial behavior (AAB). A series of regressions tested the association between family-level variables (namely, parent-child relationship quality, parental willingness to use physical punishment, marital adjustment, and history of divorce) and DBDs (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder) alone and after statistically adjusting for coparent variables and parental AAB. Results indicated that parents with AAB were more likely to engage in various forms of maladaptive parenting, to divorce, and to have conflictual marriages. Maladaptive parenting, marital conflict, and divorce were associated with heightened rates of child DBDs, and these associations persisted after adjusting for coparent parenting and parental AAB. Finally, the mother's parenting behaviors had a higher impact on child DBDs than the father's parenting behaviors. Thus, familial variables continue to have an effect on childhood DBDs even after accounting for confounding influences. These variables should be a focus of research on etiology and intervention. PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Adult antisocial behavior
  • Child disruptive disorders
  • Familial transmission
  • Marital conflict
  • Parenting

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