Advertisement

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 251–263 | Cite as

Childhood Conduct Problems Are Associated with Increased Partnership and Parenting Difficulties in Adulthood

  • Alessandra Raudino
  • Lianne J. Woodward
  • David M. Fergusson
  • L. John Horwood
Article

Abstract

This paper uses data from a sample of 337 parents studied at age 30 to examine the linkages between childhood conduct problems assessed at ages 7–9 and later partnership and parenting outcomes. The key findings of this study were: 1) increasing levels of childhood conduct problems were associated with increased risk of partnership difficulties, including relationship ambiguity, inter-partner conflict/violence and lower levels of relationship satisfaction; 2) increasing levels of childhood conduct problems were associated with increased risk of parenting difficulties, including over-reactivity, lax and inconsistent discipline, child physical punishment and lower levels of parental warmth and sensitivity. These findings were consistent across both parent reports and interviewer ratings, and in nearly all cases remained after extensive adjustment for confounding and selection bias. Study findings add to the growing body of evidence documenting the adverse consequences of early conduct problems for later adult interpersonal relationships and parenting behaviors.

Keywords

Conduct problems Longitudinal development Partnership Parenting behaviors 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by grants from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the National Child Health Research Foundation, the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, and the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.

Declaration of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

10802_2011_9565_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (97 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 96.9 kb)

References

  1. Abdi, H. (2007). Bonferroni and Šidák corrections for multiple comparisons. In N. Salkind (Ed.), Encyclopedia of measurement and statistics (pp. 103–107). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Arnold, D. S., O’Leary, S. G., Wolf, L. S., & Acker, M. M. (1993). The parenting scale: a measure of dysfunctional parenting in discipline situations. Psychological Assessment, 5(2), 137–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bardone, A. M., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Dickson, N., & Silva, P. (1996). Adult mental health and social outcomes of adolescent girls with depression and conduct disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 8, 811–829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baumrind, D. (1965). Parental control and parental love. Children, 12, 230–234.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Baumrind, D. (1966). Effects of authoritative parental control on child behavior. Child Development, 37, 887–907.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Braiker, H., & Kelley, H. (1979). Conflict in the development of close relationships. In R. Burgess & T. Huston (Eds.), Social exchange and developing relationships (pp. 127–154). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  7. Brandenburg, N. A., Friedman, R. M., & Starr, S. E. (1990). The epidemiology of childhood psychiatric disorders: prevalence findings from recent studies. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 76–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Capaldi, D. M., & Clark, S. (1998). Prospective family predictors of aggression toward female partners for at-risk young men. Developmental Psychology, 34(6), 1175–1188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Capaldi, D. M., Pears, K. C., Patterson, G. R., & Owen, L. D. (2003). Continuity of parenting practices across generations in an at-risk sample: a prospective comparison of direct and mediated associations. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31(2), 127–140.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Capaldi, D. M., & Stoolmiller, M. (1999). Co-occurrence of conduct problems and depressive symptoms in early adolescent boys: III. Prediction to young-adult adjustment. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 59–84.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carlson, V. J., & Harwood, R. L. (2003). Attachment, culture and the caregiving system: the cultural patterning of everyday experiences among Anglo and Puerto Rican mother-infant pairs. Infant Mental Health Journal, 24, 53–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Caspi, A. (2000). The child is the father of man: personality continuities from childhood to adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(1), 158–172.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chamberlain, P., Price, J., Leve, L. D., Laurent, H., Landsverk, J. A., & Reid, J. B. (2008). Prevention of behavior problems for children in foster care: outcomes and mediation effects. Prevention Science, 9, 17–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Colman, I., Murray, J., Abbott, R. A., Maughan, B., Kuh, D., Croudace, T. J., et al. (2009). Outcomes of conduct problems in adolescence: 40 year follow-up of national cohort. British Medical Journal, 337, a2981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Conger, R. D., Neppl, T., Kim, K. J., & Scaramella, L. (2003). Angry and aggressive behavior across three generations: a prospective, longitudinal study of parents and children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31(2), 143–161.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Conners, C. K. (1969). A teacher rating scale for use in drug studies with children. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 126(6), 884–888.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Conners, C. K. (1970). Symptom patterns in hyperkinetic, neurotic and normal children. Child Development, 41(3), 667–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Costello, J. A., Mustillo, S., Erkanli, A., Keeler, G., & Angold, A. (2003). Childhood experience, conceptions of parenting, and attitudes of spouse as determinants of parental behavior. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 837–844.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dekovic, M., Janssens, J. M. A. M., & Gerris, J. R. M. (1991). Factor structure and construct validity of the Block Child Rearing Practices Report (CRPR). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 3(2), 182–187.Google Scholar
  20. Doumas, D., Margolin, G., & John, R. S. (1994). The intergenerational transmission of aggression across three generations. Journal of Family Violence, 9, 157–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dowdney, L., Mrazek, D., Quinton, D., & Rutter, M. (1984). Observation of parent–child interaction with two- to three-year-olds. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 25, 379–407.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ehrensaft, M. K., Cohen, P., Brown, J., Smailes, E., Chen, H., & Johnson, J. G. (2003). Intergenerational transmission of partner violence: a 20-year prospective study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(4), 741–753.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elley, W. B., & Irving, J. C. (1976). Revised socio-economic index for New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 11(1), 25–36.Google Scholar
  24. Farrington, D. P. (1992). Explaining the beginning, progress and ending of antisocial behavior problems: stability and factors accounting for change. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 31, 891–909.Google Scholar
  25. Farrington, D. P. (1995). The development of offending and antisocial behaviour from childhood: key findings from the Cambridge study in delinquent development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36, 929–964.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fergusson, D. M., & Horwood, L. J. (1993). The structure, stability and correlations of the trait components of conduct disorder, attention deficit and anxiety/withdrawal reports. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 34(5), 749–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fergusson, D. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2001). The Christchurch Health and Development Study: Review of findings on child and adolescent mental health. Australian and New Zealand journal of Psychiatry, 35(3), 287–296.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Lloyd, M. (1991). Confirmatory factor models of attention deficit and conduct disorder. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 32(2), 257–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Lynskey, M. T. (1992). Family change, parental discord and early offending. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 33(6), 1059–1075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Ridder, E. (2005). Show me the child at seven: the consequences of conduct problems in childhood for psychosocial functioning in adulthood. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 46(8), 837–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., Shannon, F. T., & Lawton, J. M. (1989). The Christchurch Child Development Study: A review of epidemiological findings. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 3(3), 302–325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Giordano, P., Millhollin, T. J., Cernkovich, S. A., & Rudolph, J. L. (1999). Delinquency, identity and women’s involvement in relationship violence. Criminology, 37(1), 17–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Heckman, J. (1979). Sample selection bias as a specification error. Econometrica, 45, 153–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hops, H., Davis, B., Leve, C., & Sheeber, L. (2003). Cross-generational transmission of aggressive parent behavior: a prospective, mediational examination. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31(2), 161–169.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hutchings, J., Daley, D. K. J., Martin, P., Bywater, T., & Gwyn, R. (2007). Early results from developing and researching the Webster-Stratton Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training Programme in North West Wales. Journal of Children’s Services, 2(3), 15–26.Google Scholar
  36. Ispa, J. M., Fine, M. A., Halgunseth, L. C., Harper, S., Robinson, J., Brooks-Gunn, L. J., et al. (2004). Maternal intrusiveness, maternal warmth, and mother-toddler relationship outcomes: variations across low-income ethnic and acculturation groups. Child Development, 75, 1613–1631.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jaffe, S. R., Belsky, J., Harrington, H., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2006). When parents have a history of conduct problems: how is the caregiving environment affected? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115(2), 309–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kadzin, A. E. (1997). Parent management training: evidence, outcomes, and issues. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(10), 1349–1356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kadzin, A. E., Siegel, T. C., & Brass, D. (1992). Cognitive problem-solving skills training and parent management training in the treatment of antisocial behavior in children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60(5), 733–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kunce, L. J., & Shaver, P. R. (1994). An attachment-theoretical approach to caregiving in romantic relationships. In K. Bartholomew & D. Perelman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 5, pp. 205–237). London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  41. Lackey, C., & Williams, K. R. (1995). Social bonding and the cessation of partner violence across generations. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57(May), 295–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Loeber, R., Hipwell, A., Battista, D., Sembower, M., & Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (2009). Intergenerational transmission of multiple problem behaviors: prospective relationship between mothers and daughters. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 1035–1048.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Dickson, N., Silva, P., & Stanton, W. (1996). Childhood-onset versus adolescent-onset antisocial conduct problems in males: natural history from ages 3 to 18 years. Development and Psychopathology, 8, 399–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Harrington, H., & Milne, B. J. (2002). Males on the life-course-persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways: follow-up at age 26 years. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 179–207.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Rutter, M., & Silva, P. A. (2001). Sex differences in antisocial behaviour. Conduct disorder, delinquency, and violence in the Dunedin longitudinal study (Cambridge Studies in Criminology). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (2007). Mplus user’s guide (5th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthen and Muthen.Google Scholar
  47. Offord, D. R., Alder, R. J., & Boyle, M. H. (1986). Prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of conduct disorder. American Journal of Social Psychiatry, 6, 272–278.Google Scholar
  48. Offord, D. R., & Bennett, K. J. (1994). Conduct disorder: long-term outcomes and intervention effectiveness. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 33(8), 1069–1078.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Olsen, S. F., Martin, P., & Halverson, C. F. J. (1999). Personality, marital relationship, and parenting in two generations of mothers. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 23(2), 457–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pajer, K. A. (1998). What happens to “bad” girls? A review of the adult outcomes of antisocial adolescent girls. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 155, 862–870.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Quinton, D., Pickles, A., Maughan, B., & Rutter, M. (1993). Partners, peers and pathways: assortative pairing and continuities in conduct disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 763–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Richman, A. L., Miller, P. M., & LeVine, R. (1992). Cultural and educational variations in maternal responsiveness. Developmental Psychology, 28, 614–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Robinson, C. C., Mandleco, B., Olsen, S. F., & Hart, C. H. (1995). Authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parenting practices: development of a new measure. Psychological Reports, 77(3), 819–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rutter, M. (1979). Protective factors in children’s response to stress and disadvantage. In J. S. Bruner & A. Garden (Eds.), Primary Prevention of Psychopathology (Vol. 3, pp. 49–74). Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
  55. Rutter, M. (1987). Temperament, personality and personality disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 443–458.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rutter, M., Tizard, J., & Whitmore, K. (1970). Education, Health and Behaviour. London: Longmans.Google Scholar
  57. Serbin, L., Stack, D. M., De Genna, N., Grunzeweig, N., Temcheff, C. E., Schwartzman, A. E., et al. (2004). When aggressive girls become mothers: problems in parenting, health and development across two generations. In M. Putallaz & K. L. Bierman (Eds.), Aggression, antisocial behavior, and violence among girls: a developmental perspective (pp. 262–285). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  58. Simons, R., Wu, C., Johnson, C., & Conger, R. D. (1995). A test of various perspectives on the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence. Criminology, 33, 141–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Steinberg, L. (2001). We know some things: parent-adolescent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Straus, M. A., & Hamby, S. L. (1997). Measuring physical and psychological maltreatment of children with the conflict tactics scales. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  61. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The revised conflict tactics scales (CTS2). Development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 17(3), 283–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Finkelhor, D., Moore, D. W., & Runyan, D. (1998). Identification of child maltreatment with the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales: development and psychometric data for a national sample of American parents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 22(4), 249–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sugai, G., & Horner, R. R. (2006). A promising approach for expanding and sustaining school-wide positive behavior support. School Psychology Review, 35(2), 245–259.Google Scholar
  64. Thornberry, T. P., Freeman-Gallant, A., Lizotte, A. J., Krohn, M. D., & Smith, C. A. (2003). Linked lives: the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31(2), 171–184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Webster-Stratton, C. (1998). Preventing conduct problems in head start children: strengthening parenting competencies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(5), 715–730.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Webster-Stratton, C., & Hammond, M. (1999). Marital conflict management skills, parenting style, and early onset conduct problems: process and pathways. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 917–927.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wechsler, D. (1974). Manual for the Wechsler intelligence scale for children - revised. New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  68. Woodward, L., Taylor, E., & Dowdney, L. (1998). The parenting and family functioning of children with hyperactivity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 39, 161–169.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Zoccolillo, M., Paquette, D., Azar, R., Côté, S., & Tremblay, R. (2004). Parenting as an important outcome of conduct disorder in girls. In M. Putallaz & K. L. Bierman (Eds.), Aggression, antisocial behavior, and violence among girls: a developmental perspective (pp. 242–261). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  70. Zoccolillo, M., Pickles, A., Quinton, D., & Rutter, M. (1992). The outcome of childhood conduct disorder: implications for defining adult personality disorder and conduct disorder. Psychological Medicine, 22, 971–986.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Raudino
    • 1
  • Lianne J. Woodward
    • 1
  • David M. Fergusson
    • 2
  • L. John Horwood
    • 2
  1. 1.Canterbury Child Development Research Group, Department of PsychologyUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of Otago, ChristchurchChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations