Parenting and Adolescent Antisocial Behavior and Depression

George Washington University, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
Archives of General Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 14.48). 04/2007; 64(4):457-65. DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.64.4.457
Source: PubMed


Little is known about the interplay of genotypes and malleable risk factors in influencing adolescent psychiatric symptoms and disorders. Information on these processes is crucial in designing programs for the prevention of psychiatric disorders.
To assess whether latent genetic factors and measured parent-child relationships interact (G x E) in predicting adolescent antisocial behavior and depression.
We characterized risk of antisocial behavior and depression in adolescents by means of a genetically informed design. We used in-home questionnaire and observational measures of adolescent outcomes and environmental moderators (parenting), and a latent variable behavior genetic analytic model.
A nationally distributed sample recruited from random-digit dialing and national market panels.
A total of 720 families with at least 2 children, 9 through 18 years old, stratified by genetic relatedness (monozygotic and dizygotic twins, full biological siblings in nondivorced and stepfamilies, and half-siblings and biologically unrelated siblings in stepfamilies).
Antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms.
There was an interaction of genotype and both parental negativity and low warmth predicting overall antisocial behavior, as well as aggressive and nonaggressive forms of antisocial behavior, but not depression. Genetic influence was greater for adolescent antisocial behavior when parenting was more negative or less warm. Genotype-environment correlation was partialled out in the analysis and thus did not account for the results.
This study demonstrates, on the basis of careful measurement and appropriate analytic methods, that a continuous measure of parenting in the normative range moderates the influence of genotype on antisocial behavior.

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    • "Research into the underlying maladaptive cognitive mechanisms causing interpersonal distress suggests that patients with BPD have problems in appreciating other people's mental states such as desires, beliefs, feelings, and intentions (Minzenberg et al., 2006; Domes et al., 2008; Harari et al., 2010; Ghiassi et al., 2010) while at the same time being sometimes oversensitive to negative emotional stimuli such as fear or anger (Wagner and Linehan, 1999; Lynch et al., 2006). This could, in part, reside in the fact that a substantial number of patients with BPD have confronted emotional trauma during childhood, including neglect, physical, or sexual abuse (Zweig-Frank and Paris, 1991; Bierer et al., 2003; Feinberg et al., 2007), which may increase one's vigilance for potential threat. In support of this assumption, the attachment theory proposes that traumatic experiences during early childhood predispose to the development of " mistrustful inner working models " (Bowlby, 1969), such that others are perceived as unreliable, rejecting, and untrustworthy (Bateman and Fonagy, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by interpersonal dysfunction, emotional instability, impulsivity, and risk-taking behavior. Recent research has focused on the role of oxytocin in BPD, with mixed results as regards the processing of social stimuli. In a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study, 13 BPD patients and 13 controls performed a dot probe task to examine attentional biases to happy and angry faces after intranasal application of oxytocin or placebo. Childhood trauma was examined using the childhood trauma questionnaire. In the placebo condition, patients with BPD (but not controls) showed an avoidant reaction to angry faces (but not happy faces). The strength of the avoidant reaction correlated with the severity of childhood trauma. This behavioral response (as well as the correlation) was abolished in the oxytocin condition. Adult patients with BPD show an avoidant response to social threat, a reaction that is linked with traumatic experiences during childhood. This response pattern is altered by oxytocin, possibly by reducing stress and inhibiting social withdrawal from distressing social stimuli. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental
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    • "Available work studying the influence of parenting on antisocial behavior in adolescence and emerging adulthood has provided strong empirical support for this model of G × E (Caspi et al. 2002; Foley et al. 2004; Spatz Widom & Brzustowicz, 2006; Feinberg et al. 2007; Button et al. 2008; Hicks et al. 2009; Beach et al. 2010; Li & Lee, 2010; Aslund et al. 2011). Feinberg et al. (2007), for example, found that genetic influences on adolescent behavior problems were potentiated in the face of parental negativity. Hicks et al. (2009) found nearly identical results in their analysis of more than 1300 pairs of 17-year-old twins. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Prior research has suggested that, consistent with the diathesis-stress model of gene-environment interaction (G × E), parent-child conflict activates genetic influences on antisocial/externalizing behaviors during adolescence. It remains unclear, however, whether this model is also important during childhood, or whether the moderation of child conduct problems by negative/conflictive parenting is better characterized as a bioecological interaction, in which environmental influences are enhanced in the presence of environmental risk whereas genetic influences are expressed most strongly in their absence. The current study sought to distinguish between these possibilities, evaluating how the parent-child relationship moderates the etiology of childhood-onset conduct problems. Method: We conducted a series of 'latent G by measured E' interaction analyses, in which a measured environmental variable was allowed to moderate both genetic and environmental influences on child conduct problems. Participants included 500 child twin pairs from the Michigan State University Twin Registry (MSUTR). Results: Shared environmental influences on conduct problems were found to be several-fold larger in those with high levels of parent-child conflict as compared with those with low levels. Genetic influences, by contrast, were proportionally more influential at lower levels of conflict than at higher levels. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, although the diathesis-stress form of G × E appears to underlie the relationship between parenting and conduct problems during adolescence, this pattern of moderation does not extend to childhood. Instead, results were more consistent with the bioecological form of G × E which postulates that, in some cases, genetic influences may be most fully manifested in the absence of environmental risk.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Psychological Medicine
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    • "In particular, Lipscomb et al. (2012) reported that genetic risk for negative emotionality predicted toddler negative emotionality only under conditions of low environmental adversity. Critically, however, these results in childhood stand in sharp contrast to those of studies conducted on adolescent samples (e.g., Feinberg et al., 2007; Hicks et al., 2009), for which low levels of parental warmth (or high levels of parental negativity) appear to exacerbate genetic influences on CP, results that are far more in keeping with the diathesis-stress model of GxE. As noted in prior research (Burt & Klump, 2013b), such findings may well imply that, akin to the well-known changes in the importance of particular forms of gene–environment correlation with age (Scarr & McCartney, 1983), the manifestation of GxE may also shift in meaningful ways over the course of development (at least for particular risk factors). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Prior studies exploring gene-environment interactions (GxE) in the development of youth conduct problems (CP) have focused almost exclusively on single-risk experiences, despite research indicating that the presence of other risk factors and or the absence of protective factors can accentuate the influence of a given risk factor on CP. The goal of the current study was to fill this gap in the literature, evaluating whether risky and protective aspects of parenting might combine to jointly moderate the etiology of CP. Methods The sample consisted of 500 child twin pairs from the Michigan State University Twin Registry (MSUTR). Child CP was assessed using multiple informant reports. Maternal warmth and directiveness were assessed via videotaped dyadic interactions between mothers and each of their twins. ResultsBiometric GxE analyses revealed that directiveness and warmth did appear to jointly moderate the etiology of CP. In particular, shared environmental influences were accentuated by colder, less directive or less engaged' mothering, whereas genetic influences were strongest when the child was experiencing warmer, more directive or more authoritative' mothering. Conclusions Such findings serve to highlight the synergistic effects of risky and protective experiences on child outcomes. They also provide additional empirical support for the bioecological form of GxE, which postulates that, in some cases, genetic influences may be most strongly expressed in the presence of low-risk environments.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
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