Twenty-five year follow-up of child-reading practices: Reliability of retrospective data
ABSTRACT A follow-up of participants in a study of speech development provided the opportunity to investigate (i) the reliability of retrospective accounts of the child-rearing environment, and (ii) personality bias in retrospective recall of child-rearing circumstances. Comparing original accounts of child-rearing to retrospective accounts is the most powerful design for examining the reliability of retrospective recall, yet it has been employed by only one other study. As part of the original study, parents completed a child-rearing questionnaire when their children were age 7, and the children completed the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) at age 16. Factor analysis of the child-rearing questionnaire identified four factors, Cohesiveness, Openness, Control and Punishment, for which scales were constructed. At follow-up, 147 parents and 119 children completed a retrospective child-rearing questionnaire as well as the EPI. The data showed that retrospective accounts were only moderately reliable but did not appear to be affected by personality bias.
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ABSTRACT: Theory and empirical evidence suggest that children's genetically influenced characteristics help to shape the environments they experience, including the parenting they 'receive'. The extent of these genetically-mediated child effects on childhood maltreatment is not well known. The present study estimates the magnitude of genetically mediated child effects on maltreatment in 3,297 twins and siblings who were part of a large nationally representative sample of adolescents (ADD health). Participants in early adulthood retrospectively reported their experiences of physical and sexual maltreatment and neglect. Results are consistent with small genetically-mediated child effects on physical maltreatment and neglect, and none on sexual maltreatment, and all three forms of maltreatment are influenced mainly by idiosyncratic individual circumstances.Behavior Genetics 04/2009; 39(3):265-76. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies of the genetic and environmental components of the Family Environment Scale (FES) have typically reported that scales relating to familial acceptance are moderately to strongly genetically influenced while measures of control are more environmentally influenced. These reports relied on retrospective recall, which is not as reliable as recall of current environment. To investigate the genetic contribution to contemporaneous perceptions of one's rearing environment, the responses on the FES of 471 17-year-old male twins (141 complete MZ twin pairs, 73 complete DZ twin pairs, 43 incomplete twin pairs) participating in the Minnesota Twin-Family Study (MTFS) were analyzed. Individual FES scales were generally modestly to moderately heritable. Unlike previous research, we did not find evidence that measures of control/structure were less heritable than measures of acceptance/support. These findings support a genetic basis of perceptions of one's family environment and indicate that reports of control/structure may be more genetically influenced than previously believed based on retrospective reports.Behavior Genetics 08/2005; 35(4):373-80. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The type of parental discipline used in families appears to be related to parental characteristics, child temperament, and aspects of the social context. Within these three areas, we examine specific correlates of parental discipline (namely, limit setting and physical discipline) using a multiple informant model. Using interview data from 2003 female twins from a population-based twin registry and 1472 of their parents, we examined retrospective reports of parental discipline from three perspectives. First, father and mother reporting separately on the type of discipline they provided for their offspring; second, each twin reporting on the type of discipline they received from their parents; and third, each parent reporting on the discipline provided by their spouse. Using a mixed model regression, we examined the impact on parental discipline of 25 potential predictor variables, as reported by parents, from three domains: social context, parental factors, and childhood vulnerability factors. There was a great deal of overlap between the independent variables for the two types of discipline in the areas of child vulnerability factors and family relationships, with similar effect sizes for child disobedience, teenage rebelliousness, and family discord. However, the profiles of parental characteristics associated with each type of discipline were quite different. Greater use of physical discipline was associated with less parental warmth, a higher incidence of parental lifetime generalised anxiety disorder, and more frequent religious attendance. Greater use of limit setting was associated with more years of parental education, younger age, and greater parental extroversion and authoritarianism. Parental characteristics, child temperament, and social context may all contribute to the frequency of discipline used in families, but parental characteristics may be most influential in determining the type of discipline used.Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 05/2001; 36(4):177-85. · 2.86 Impact Factor