Indirect Effects of Early Parenting on Adult Antisocial Outcomes via Adolescent Conduct Disorder Symptoms and Callous-Unemotional Traits.
Parental harsh punishment and warmth have been associated with child and adolescent conduct disorder (CD) symptoms and callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e., lack of guilt, empathy, and deficient affect); however, it is unclear whether the effect of these parenting behaviors on antisocial outcomes persists into adulthood. Thus, the present study aimed to test whether adolescent CD symptoms and CU traits mediate the effect of parental harsh punishment and warmth on adult antisocial outcomes (i.e., antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), externalizing psychopathology, partner violence, and violent and substance crime). Participants included the high-risk control and normative samples from the Fast Track project (N =
753, male = 58%, African American = 46%). Harsh punishment during kindergarten through grades 1-2 predicted higher adolescent CD symptoms, and directly observed warmth during kindergarten through grades 1-2 predicted lower adolescent CU traits. Adolescent CD symptoms predicted greater adult substance crime, and adolescent CU traits predicted greater adult ASPD symptoms and externalizing psychopathology. Further, adolescent CD symptoms indirectly accounted for the effect of parental harsh punishment on adult substance crime, and adolescent CU traits indirectly accounted for the effect of parental warmth on ASPD symptoms and externalizing psychopathology. Findings support the importance of early interventions targeting parenting behaviors to reduce risk for the development of antisocial behavior, and inform developmental models of antisocial behavior in adolescence through adulthood.
Goulter, N; McMahon, RJ; Pasalich, DS; Dodge, KA
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