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01-08-2011 | Uitgave 6/2011

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2011

Unpacking Links between Fathers’ Antisocial Behaviors and Children’s Behavior Problems: Direct, Indirect, and Interactive Effects

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 6/2011
Auteurs:
Rebekah Levine Coley, Jennifer Carrano, Selva Lewin-Bizan
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1R03HD055229-01A1) and through funding for the Three-City Study from: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (RO1 HD36093), Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children and Families, Social Security Administration, and National Institute of Mental Health; The Boston Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Searle Fund for Policy Research, and The Woods Fund of Chicago. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or of other grantors. Address correspondence to: Dr. Rebekah Levine Coley, Applied Developmental & Educational Psychology, Boston College, Campion Hall 239A, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Phone: 617.552.6018. Fax: 617.552.1981. E-mail address: coleyre@bc.edu.

Abstract

Building upon previous evidence for the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behaviors, this research assessed and compared three models seeking to explain links between fathers’ antisocial behaviors and children’s behavior problems. A representative sample of children from low-income families (N = 261) was followed from age 3 through age 9. Lagged OLS regression models assessed both short-term (1½ years) and longer-term (5½ years) prospective links between fathers’ antisocial behaviors and children’s behavior problems. Results supported a direct effects model: fathers’ antisocial behaviors predicted growth in children’s externalizing and internalizing behavior problems, with links stronger among resident-father families. Limited evidence of indirect effects emerged, with links between fathers’ antisocial behaviors and children’s behavior problems only slightly attenuated controlling for related risk factors and for parenting quality, showing limited evidence of mediation. A new interactive model was proposed and supported, with high levels of harsh discipline exacerbating negative links between fathers’ antisocial behaviors and children’s internalizing problems. Results suggest caution in policies and programs which seek to universally increase marriage or father involvement without attention to fathers’ behaviors.

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