Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 199–210 | Cite as

Bidirectional Relations between Parenting Practices and Child Externalizing Behavior: A Cross-Lagged Panel Analysis in the Context of a Psychosocial Treatment and 3-Year Follow-up

  • Anne ShafferEmail author
  • Oliver Lindhiem
  • David J. Kolko
  • Christopher J. Trentacosta


In the current study, we examined longitudinal changes in, and bidirectional effects between, parenting practices and child behavior problems in the context of a psychosocial treatment and 3-year follow-up period. The sample comprised 139 parent–child dyads (child ages 6–11) who participated in a modular treatment protocol for early-onset ODD or CD. Parenting practices and child behavior problems were assessed at six time-points using multiple measures and multiple reporters. The data were analyzed using cross-lagged panel analyses. Results indicated robust temporal stabilities of parenting practices and child behavior problems, in the context of treatment-related improvements, but bidirectional effects between parenting practices and child behavior were less frequently detected. Our findings suggest that bidirectional effects are relatively smaller than the temporal stability of each construct for school-age children with ODD/CD and their parents, following a multi-modal clinical intervention that is directed at both parents and children. Implications for treatment and intervention are discussed.


Parenting Disruptive behavior disorders Intervention Bidirectional 



This study was supported by a grant to the third author from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH57727). The authors acknowledge the research and clinical staff of the Resources to Enhance the Adjustment of Children (REACH) program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Shaffer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Oliver Lindhiem
    • 2
  • David J. Kolko
    • 2
  • Christopher J. Trentacosta
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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