Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 647-662

First online:

Bidirectional Associations between Parenting Practices and Conduct Problems in Boys from Childhood to Adolescence: The Moderating Effect of Age and African-American Ethnicity

  • Dustin A. PardiniAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Email author 
  • , Paula J. FiteAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Tennessee
  • , Jeffrey D. BurkeAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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This study examined the bidirectional relationship between parent and teacher reported conduct problems in youth and parenting practices using a longitudinal sample of boys assessed from 6 to 16 years of age. Analyses tested whether these bidirectional associations changed across development and whether the nature of these associations varied across African-American and Caucasian families. Overall, the results supported a bidirectional relationship between conduct problems and all parenting practices examined from childhood to adolescence. The influence of conduct problems on changes in parenting behaviors was as strong as the influence of parenting behaviors on changes in conduct problems across development. Changes in the bidirectional relationship across development were found in some, but not all, models. While corporal punishment was more strongly related to changes in teacher-reported conduct problems for African-American boys compared to Caucasian boys, more similarities than differences were found between the ethnic groups in terms of the bidirectional associations examined.


Parenting Conduct problems African-American Bidirectional Longitudinal Development Physical punishment