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Longitudinal Links Between Fathers’ and Mothers’ Harsh Verbal Discipline and Adolescents’ Conduct Problems and Depressive Symptoms

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  • We thank Jacqui Hinchey for her feedback on the earlier version of this manuscript. This project was supported by Grant DA034151-02 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institute of Health to Ming-Te Wang.

Abstract

This study used cross-lagged modeling to examine reciprocal relations between maternal and paternal harsh verbal discipline and adolescents’ conduct problems and depressive symptoms. Data were from a sample of 976 two-parent families and their children (51% males; 54% European American, 40% African American). Mothers’ and fathers’ harsh verbal discipline at age 13 predicted an increase in adolescent conduct problems and depressive symptoms between ages 13 and 14. A child effect was also present, with adolescent misconduct at age 13 predicting increases in mothers’ and fathers’ harsh verbal discipline between ages 13 and 14. Furthermore, maternal and paternal warmth did not moderate the longitudinal associations between mothers’ and fathers’ use of harsh verbal discipline and adolescent conduct problems and depressive symptoms.

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