Relation of maternal responsiveness during infancy to the development of behavior problems in high-risk youths.

L. S. Wakschlag*, S. L. Hans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although problematic parenting has been consistently associated with behavior problems in youths, prospective links between early parenting and childhood behavior problems are less well established. This study examined the association of maternal responsiveness (MRes) during infancy and behavior problems in middle childhood (N = 77). MRes was significantly associated with disruptive behavior problems but was unrelated to attention problems. Absence of MRes during infancy increased the risk of disruptive behavior problems in middle childhood, even with concurrent parenting and established risk factors for disruptive behavior controlled. MRes also interacted with concurrent family risk to predict disruptive behavior symptoms. These findings underscore the importance of early parenting for developmental pathways to disruptive behavior disorders in high-risk youths. The identification of a relatively modifiable early risk factor for disruptive behavior problems has important implications for prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-579
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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