Associations of Parental Personality Disorders and Axis I Disorders with Childrearing Behavior
Data from the Children in the Community Study, a community-based longitudinal investigation, were used to investigate the associations of parental anxiety, depressive, substance use, and personality disorders with parental child rearing behavior. Comprehensive psychosocial interviews, including assessments of child rearing, were conducted with 224 women and 153 men (mean age = 33 years; mean off- spring age = 8 years). Findings indicated that parental personality disorders were associated with parental possessiveness, inconsistent parental discipline, low parental communication, and low parental praise and encouragement. These associations remained significant when parental gender, offspring gender, and co-occurring parental disorders were controlled statistically. Parental anxiety disorders were independently associated with parental possessiveness. Parents with personality disorders were substantially more likely than parents without personality disorders to report engaging in multiple problematic child rearing behaviors. This association was not moderated by co-occurring parental disorders. These findings suggest that the presence of a parental personality disorder may be associated with an elevated likelihood of problematic parenting behavior during the child rearing years.