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01-07-2015 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 7/2015

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7/2015

Moderation of Harsh Parenting on Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Child and Adolescent Deviant Peer Affiliation: A Longitudinal Twin Study

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 7/2015
Auteurs:
Mengjiao Li, Jie Chen, Xinying Li, Kirby Deater-Deckard

Abstract

Affiliation with deviant peers is associated with biologically influenced personal attributes, and is itself a major contributor to growth in antisocial behavior over childhood and adolescence. Several studies have shown that variance in child and adolescent deviant peer affiliation includes genetic and non-genetic influences, but none have examined longitudinal genetic and environmental stability or change within the context of harsh parenting. To address this gap, we tested the moderating role of harsh parenting on genetic and environmental stability or change of deviant peer affiliation in a longitudinal (spanning one and a half years) study of Chinese child and adolescent twin pairs (N = 993, 52.0 % female). Using multiple informants (child- and parent-reports) and measurement methods to minimize rater bias, we found that individual differences in deviant peer affiliation at each assessment were similarly explained by moderate genetic and nonshared environmental variance. The longitudinal stability and change of deviant peer affiliation were explained by genetic and nonshared environmental factors. The results also revealed that the genetic variance for deviant peer affiliation is higher in the families with harsher parenting. This amplified genetic risk underscores the role of harsh parenting in the selection and socialization process of deviant peer relationships.

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