Cumulative Effects of Mothers’ Risk and Promotive Factors on Daughters’ Disruptive Behavior
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- van der Molen, E., Hipwell, A.E., Vermeiren, R. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2012) 40: 727. doi:10.1007/s10802-011-9595-2
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Little is known about the ways in which the accumulation of maternal factors increases or reduces risk for girls’ disruptive behavior during preadolescence. In the current study, maternal risk and promotive factors and the severity of girls’ disruptive behavior were assessed annually among girls’ ages 7–12 in an urban community sample (N = 2043). Maternal risk and promotive factors were operative at different time points in girls’ development. Maternal warmth explained variance in girls’ disruptive behavior, even after controlling for maternal risk factors and relevant child and neighborhood factors. In addition, findings supported the cumulative hypothesis that the number of risk factors increased the chance on girls’ disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), while the number of promotive factors decreased this probability. Daughters of mothers with a history of Conduct Disorder (CD) were exposed to more risk factors and fewer promotive factors compared to daughters of mothers without prior CD. The identification of malleable maternal factors that can serve as targets for intervention has important implications for intergenerational intervention. Cumulative effects show that the focus of prevention efforts should not be on single factors, but on multiple factors associated with girls’ disruptive behavior.