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Child Maltreat. 2001 Feb;6(1):3-16.

Abusive early child rearing and early childhood aggression.

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Lehigh University, USA.


Childhood aggression is significant for children, their families, and the society because aggressive children often become violent adolescents. This article examines the relationship between maltreatment and early childhood aggression. Data are from a longitudinal study of maltreated and nonmaltreated children assessed as preschoolers and again at school age. The dependent variable is the child's teacher's rating of aggression at school age. The independent variables are from preschool and school age observations of the mother-child interaction and the mother's report of physical discipline practices. Using structural equation modeling, harshness of interaction at preschool age but not school age and severity of physical discipline at school age but not preschool age, relate to aggression at school age. Results suggest a difference in the developmental stage at which different features of harsh child rearing exert their influence. Strategies for intervening to prevent the development of childhood aggression are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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