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Negative parental discipline, conduct problems and callous–unemotional traits: monozygotic twin differences study

  • Essi Viding (a1), Nathalie M. G. Fontaine (a2), Bonamy R. Oliver (a3) and Robert Plomin (a3)
Abstract
Background

Negative parenting practices may be an environmental risk factor for subsequent conduct problems. Research on the association between parenting practices and callous–unemotional traits, a risk factor for conduct problems, has produced mixed findings.

Aims

To investigate whether negative parental discipline is a non-shared environmental risk factor for the development of conduct problems and callous–unemotional traits.

Method

Longitudinal, multi-informant data from a community sample of twins were analysed using the monozygotic (MZ) twin differences design for 4508 twins (2254 twin pairs).

Results

Within MZ twin pairs, the twin receiving more negative parental discipline at 7 years had more conduct problems (but not more callous–unemotional traits) at 12 years.

Conclusions

During the transition to early adolescence, negative parental discipline operates as a non-shared environmental risk factor for development of conduct problems, but not for the development of callous–unemotional traits.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Essi Viding, PhD, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK. Email: e.viding@ucl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Twins Early Development Study receives support from the UK Medical Research Council (G0500079).

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Negative parental discipline, conduct problems and callous–unemotional traits: monozygotic twin differences study

  • Essi Viding (a1), Nathalie M. G. Fontaine (a2), Bonamy R. Oliver (a3) and Robert Plomin (a3)
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