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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2004 Sep;33(3):524-35.

Relation of adolescent mothers' history of antisocial behavior to child conduct problems and social competence.

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Department of Psychology, University of Washington, USA.


We examined the extent to which maternal antisocial behavior (ASB) is directly related to child conduct problems and social competence and assessed the potential mediating role of negative parenting. The sample included 93 adolescent mothers and their children (44 boys, 49 girls). Mothers retrospectively reported about their ASB since the child's birth, through Grade 2. Negative parenting was coded during a parent-child interaction task (PCIT) at Grade 2. Teachers assessed child outcomes at Grade 3. Maternal ASB during the child's life was directly related to parenting and both child outcomes. In the overall sample, negative parenting partially mediated the relation between maternal ASB and child conduct problems. However, the pattern of relations differed by sex. For boys, maternal ASB was directly related to conduct problems, independent of parenting. For girls, maternal ASB was strongly related to parenting but not conduct problems. Negative parenting did not mediate the relation between maternal ASB and child social competence. Implications for intervention and future research are discussed.

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