Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Pathways from harsh parenting to adolescent antisocial behavior: A multidomain test of gender moderation

  • Mandi L. Burnette (a1), Assaf Oshri (a1) (a2), Rachael Lax (a1), Dayton Richards (a1) and Shayne N. Ragbeer (a1)...

We tested for gender moderation within a multidomain model of antisocial behavior (ASB) among community youth, drawn from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods study. Youths (N = 1,639) were 9 to 12 years old at baseline and were followed for two additional waves, spaced approximately 2.5 years apart. We hypothesized that harsh and physically coercive parenting, a familial level risk factor, would impact individual level risk factors for ASB, such as childhood temperament ratings of emotionality and inhibitory control, and preadolescent externalizing and internalizing symptoms, as well as involvement with antisocial peers. We further hypothesized that this process and its impact on ASB would be moderated by gender. We used both multiple indicator multiple causes and multiple group analyses to test for gender moderation and a structural equation modeling multiple mediation framework to evaluate the strength of indirect effects. We tested the role of family, individual, and peer level influences on ASB, after accounting for the role of known contextual factors, including poverty, race, and neighborhood. Our overall model fit the data well for males and females, indicating harsh parenting, disinhibition, emotionality, and peers exert a strong influence on risk for ASB. Gender moderated the pathway from harsh parenting to externalizing behavior, such that this was a significant pathway for girls, but not boys. We discussed the importance of these findings with regard to intervention planning for youth at risk for ASB and future gender-informed models of ASB.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Mandi L. Burnette, Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0266; E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D. V. Ary , T. E. Duncan , A. Biglan , C. W. Metzler , J. W. Noell , & K. Smolkowski (1999). Development of adolescent problem behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27, 141150.

C. Bagley , & K. Mallick (1997). Temperament, CNS problems and maternal stressors: Interactive predictors of conduct disorder in 9-yr.-olds. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 84, 617618.

C. Bagley , & K. Mallick (2000). Prediction of sexual, emotional, and physical maltreatment and mental health outcomes in a longitudinal cohort of 290 adolescent women. Child Maltreatment, 5, 218.

J. Belsky (1980). Child maltreatment: An ecological integration. American Psychologist, 35, 320.

T. C. Blackson , R. E. Tarter , C. S. Martin , & H. B. Moss (1994). Temperament-induced father–son family dysfunction: Etiological implications for child behavior problems and substance abuse. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 64, 280292.

W. T. Boyce , M. J. Essex , A. Alkon , H. Goldsmith , H. C. Kraemer , & D. J. Kupfer (2006). Early father involvement moderates biobehavioral susceptibility to mental health problems in middle childhood. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 45, 15101520.

J. Brown , P. Cohen , J. G. Johnson , & S. Salzinger (1998). A longitudinal analysis of risk factors for child maltreatment: Findings of a 17-year prospective study of officially recorded and self-reported child abuse and neglect. Child Abuse & Neglect, 22, 10651078.

J. W. Buchholtz , J. H. Callicott , B. Kolachana , A. R. Hariri , T. E. Goldberg , M. Genderson , (2008). Genetic variation in MAOA modulate ventromedial prefrontal circuitry mediating individual differences in human personality. Molecular Psychiatry, 13, 313324.

L. R. Burk , J. M. Armstrong , H. H. Goldsmith , M. H. Klein , T. J. Strauman , P. Costanzo , (2011). Sex, temperament, and family context: How the interaction of early factors differentially predict adolescent alcohol use and are mediated by proximal adolescent factors. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 25, 115.

M. L. Burnette , & D. L. Newman (2005). The natural history of conduct disorder symptoms in female inmates: On the predictive utility of the syndrome in severely antisocial women. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75, 421430.

N. Chodorow (1978). Mothering, object-relations, and the female oedipal configuration. Feminist Studies, 4, 137158.

D. Cicchetti , & S. L. Toth (1995). A developmental psychopathology perspective on child abuse and neglect. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 541565.

N. R. Crick (1996). The role of overt aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial behavior in the prediction of children's future social adjustment. Child Development, 67, 23172327.

S. E. Crowell , T. P. Beauchaine , & M. M. Linehan (2009). A biosocial developmental model of borderline personality: Elaborating and extending Linehan's theory. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 495510.

P. T. Davies , M. L. Sturge-Apple , D. Cicchetti , & E. M. Cummings (2007). The role of child adrenocortical functioning in pathways between inter-parental conflict and child maladjustment. Developmental Psychology, 43, 918930.

T. J. Dishion , K. M. Spracklen , D. W. Andrews , & G. R. Patterson (1996). Deviancy training in male adolescent friendships. Behavior Therapy, 27, 373390.

B. Egeland , L. A. Sroufe , & M. Erikson (1983). The developmental consequence of different patterns of maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 7, 459469.

M. A. Enoch , C. D. Steer , T. K. Newman , N. Gibson , & D. Goldman (2010). Early life stress, MAOA, and gene–environment interactions predict behavioral disinhibition in children. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 9, 6574.

D. P. Farrington (1995). The Twelfth Jack Tizard Memorial Lecture: The development of offending and antisocial behaviour from childhood: Key findings from the Cambridge study in delinquency development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36, 929964.

L. Ferraz , M. Vállez , J. B. Navarro , E. Gelabert , R. Martín-Santos , & S. Subirà (2009). Dimensional assessment of personality and impulsiveness in borderline personality disorder. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 140146.

M. Gardner , & L. Steinberg (2005). Peer influence on risk taking, risk preference, and risky decision making in adolescence and adulthood: An experimental study. Developmental Psychology, 41, 625635.

T. W. Gardner , T. J. Dishion , & A. M. Connell (2008). Adolescent self-regulation as resilience: Resistance to antisocial behavior within the deviant peer context. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 273284.

P. R. Giancola , A. C. Mezzich , & R. E. Tarter (1998). Executive cognitive functioning, temperament, and antisocial behavior in conduct-disordered adolescent females. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 629.

B. Henry , A. Caspi , T. E. Moffitt , & P. A. Silva (1996). Temperamental and familial predictors of violent and nonviolent criminal convictions: Age 3 to age 18. Developmental Psychology, 32, 614.

V. M. Herrera , & L. A. McCloskey (2001). Gender differences in the risk for delinquency among youth exposed to family violence. Child Abuse & Neglect, 25, 10371051.

S. R. Jaffe , A. Caspi , T. E. Moffitt , & A. Taylor (2004). Physical maltreatment victim to antisocial child: Evidence of an environmentally-mediated process. Journal of Abnormal Behavior, 113, 4455.

S. R. Jaffee , L. B. Strait , & C. L. Odgers (2012). From correlates to causes: Can quasi-experimental studies and statistical innovations bring us closer to identifying the causes of antisocial behavior? Psychological Bulletin, 138, 272295.

N. Kambouropoulos , & P. K. Staiger (2004). Personality and responses to appetitive and aversive stimuli: The joint influence of behavioural approach and behavioural inhibition systems. Personality and Individual Differences, 37, 11531165.

L. Kingston , & M. Prior (1995). The development of patterns of stable, transient, and school-age onset aggressive behavior in young children. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 348358.

N. C. Low , S. S. Lee , J. G. Johnson , J. B. Williams , & E. S. Harris (2008). The association between anxiety and alcohol versus cannabis abuse disorders among adolescents in primary care settings. Family Practice, 25, 321.

S. E. Marakovitz , R. L. Wagmiller , N. D. Mian , M. J. Briggs-Gowan , & A. S. Carter (2011). Lost toy? Monsters under the bed? Contributions of temperament and family factors to early internalizing problems in boys and girls. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 233244.

K. S. Mathiesen , & K. Tambs (1999). The EAS temperament questionnaire—Factor structure, age trends, reliability, and stability in a Norwegian sample. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 431439.

N. D. Mian , L. Wainwright , M. J. Briggs-Gowan , & A. S. Carter (2011). An ecological risk model for early childhood anxiety: The importance of early child symptoms and temperament. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 501512.

T. E. Moffitt (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674701.

D. Murray-Close , G. Han , D. Cicchetti , N. R. Crick , & F. A. Rogosch (2007). Neuroendocrine regulation and physical and relational aggression: The moderating roles of child maltreatment and gender. Developmental Psychology, 44, 11601176.

A. Oshri , F. Rogosch , M. Burnette , & D. Cicchetti (2011). Pathways to adolescent cannabis abuse and dependence: Child maltreatment, emerging personality, and internalizing versus externalizing psychopathology. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 25, 634644.

A. Oshri , J. Tubman , & M. L. Burnette (2012). Child maltreatment histories, alcohol and other drug use symptoms, and sexual risk behavior in a treatment sample of adolescents. American Journal of Public Health, 102(Suppl. 2), S250S257.

M. R. Owens , & A. Bergman (2010). Alcohol use and antisocial behavior in late adolescence: Characteristics of a sample attending a GED program. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 19, 7898.

C. J. Patterson , B. D. DeBaryshe , & E. Ramsey (1989). A developmental perspective on antisocial behavior. American Psychologist, 44, 329335.

M. Pitzer , G. Esser , M. Schmidt , & M. Laucht (2010). Early predictors of antisocial developmental pathways among boys and girls. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 121, 5264.

P. Silverthorn , & J. P. Frick (1999). Developmental pathways to antisocial behavior: The delayed onset pathway in girls. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 101126.

P. Silverthorn , P. J. Frick , & R. Reynolds (2001). Timing of onset and correlates of severe conduct problems in adjudicated girls and boys. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 23, 171181.

J. Snyder , A. McEachern , L. Schrepferman , C. Just , M. Jenkins , S. Roberts , (2010). Contribution of peer deviancy training to the early development of conduct problems: Mediators and moderators. Behavior Therapy, 41, 317328.

L. Steinberg , S. D. Lamborn , N. Darling , N. S. Mounts , & S. M. Dornbusch (1994). Over-time changes in adjustment and competence among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful families. Child Development, 65, 754770.

M. A. Straus (1979). Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The conflict tactics (CT) scales. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 41, 7588.

R. E. Tarter , L. Kirisci , T. Ridenour , & M. Vanyukov (2008). Prediction of cannabis use disorder between childhood and young adulthood using the child behavior checklist. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 30, 272278.

P. A. Toro , K. A. Urberg , & H. J. Heinze (2004). Antisocial behavior and affiliation with deviant peers. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 336346.

C. Webster-Stratton , & S. M. Eyberg (1982). Child temperament: Relationship with child behavior problems and parent–child interactions. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 11, 123129.

M. Wiesner , R. K. Silbereisen , & K. Weichold (2008). Effects of deviant peer association on adolescent alcohol consumption: A growth mixture modeling analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37, 537551.

M. Windle (1991). The difficult temperament in adolescence: Associations with substance use, family support, and problem behaviors. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47, 310315.

M. Windle (1992). Revised Dimensions of Temperament Survey (DOTS-R): Simultaneous group confirmatory factor analysis for adolescent gender groups. Psychological Assessment, 4, 228.

E. Young Mun , H. E. Fitzgerald , A. Von Eye , L. I. Puttler , & R. A. Zucker (2001). Temperamental characteristics as predictors of externalizing and internalizing child behavior problems in the contexts of high and low parental psychopathology. Infant Mental Health Journal, 22, 393415.

R. P. McDonald , & M. R. Ho (2002). Principles and practice in reporting structural equation analyses. Psychological Methods, 7, 6482.

J. L. Schafer , & J. W. Graham (2002). Missing data: Our view of the state of the art. Psychological Methods, 7, 141177.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 10
Total number of PDF views: 115 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 292 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.