Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 127-142

First online:

Continuity of Parenting Practices Across Generations in an At-Risk Sample: A Prospective Comparison of Direct and Mediated Associations

  • Deborah M. CapaldiAffiliated withOregon Social Learning Center Email author 
  • , Katherine C. PearsAffiliated withOregon Social Learning Center
  • , Gerald R. PattersonAffiliated withOregon Social Learning Center
  • , Lee D. OwenAffiliated withOregon Social Learning Center

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A prospective model of parenting and externalizing behavior spanning 3 generations (G1, G2, and G3) was examined for young men from an at-risk sample of young adult men (G2) who were in approximately the youngest one third of their cohort to become fathers. It was first predicted that the young men in G2 who had children the earliest would show high levels of antisocial behavior. Second, it was predicted that G1 poor parenting practices would show both a direct association with the G2 son's subsequent parenting and a mediated effect via his development of antisocial and delinquent behavior by adolescence. The young fathers had more arrests and were less likely to have graduated from high school than the other young men in the sample. Findings were most consistent with the interpretation that there was some direct effect of parenting from G1 to G2 and some mediated effect via antisocial behavior in G2.

three generations parenting fathers antisocial behavior at risk temperament externalizing