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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 84–91 | Cite as

Authoritarian parenting attitudes as a risk for conduct problems

Results from a British national cohort study
  • Anne Thompson
  • Chris Hollis
  • David Richards†
ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION

Abstract.

This study examines the associations, and possible causal relationship, between mothers' authoritarian attitudes to discipline and child behaviour using cross-sectional and prospective data from a large population sample surveyed in the 1970 British Cohort Study. Results show a clear linear relationship between the degree of maternal approval of authoritarian child-rearing attitudes and the rates of conduct problems at age 5 and age 10. This association is independent of the confounding effects of socio-economic status and maternal psychological distress. Maternal authoritarian attitudes independently predicted the development of conduct problems 5 years later at age 10. The results of this longitudinal study suggest that authoritarian parenting attitudes expressed by mothers may be of significance in the development of conduct problems.

Key words discipline – parental attitudes – conduct problems 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Thompson
    • 1
  • Chris Hollis
    • 2
  • David Richards†
    • 3
  1. 1.Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, Lincoln Partnership NHS Trust, Moore House, 10/11 Lindum Terrace, Lincoln, LN2 5RS,UKGB
  2. 2.Section of Developmental Psychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, The University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2 UH, UKGB
  3. 3.Division of Child Health, The University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2 UH, UKGB

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