Directions of Effects between Adolescent Psychopathic Traits and Parental Behavior

Abstract

The present study examined the directions of effects between adolescent psychopathic traits and parental behaviors. The data are from a community-based cohort-sequential study. Data were collected annually over 4 years. Participants were 875 adolescents, aged 13–15 at Time 1, and we analyzed their reports of negative and positive parental behavior, delinquency, and psychopathic traits. In results from cross-lagged models, adolescent psychopathic traits predicted changes over time in all of the parental behaviors at nearly all of the time intervals, whereas the prediction from parental behaviors to psychopathic traits was inconsistent across parenting measures and time intervals. These findings suggest that parental behavior is more a reaction than a predictor of psychopathic traits in adolescence.

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Correspondence to Selma Salihovic.

Additional information

The Swedish Research Council provided funding for the longitudinal project used in this study.

We thank Håkan Stattin, Lauree Tilton-Weaver, and Maarten Van Zalk for critique on an earlier version.

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Salihovic, S., Kerr, M., Özdemir, M. et al. Directions of Effects between Adolescent Psychopathic Traits and Parental Behavior. J Abnorm Child Psychol 40, 957–969 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-012-9623-x

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Keywords

  • Psychopathic traits
  • Delinquency
  • Parental behavior
  • Directions of effects