Linked Lives: Stability and Change in Maternal Circumstances and Trajectories of Antisocial Behavior in Children

Ross Macmillan, Barbara J McMorris, Candace Kruttschnitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drawing on the notion of linked lives, this study examined the effects of stability and change in maternal circumstance on developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior in children 4 to 7 years of age. Using data from a national sample of young mothers and growth curve analysis, the study demonstrated that early maternal circumstances influences early antisocial behavior, whereas stability and change in these circumstances both exacerbate and ameliorate behavior problems. Of particular note, meaningful escape from poverty attenuates antisocial behavior whereas persistence in poverty or long-term movement into poverty intensifies such problems. These findings highlight the importance of structural context for parenting practices and the need to consider child development in light of dynamic and changing life-course fortunes of parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-220
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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