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      Parenting and its Effects on Children: On Reading and Misreading Behavior Genetics

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      Annual Review of Psychology

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          There is clear evidence that parents can and do influence children. There is equally clear evidence that children’s genetic makeup affects their own behavioral characteristics, and also influences the way they are treated by their parents. Twin and adoption studies provide a sound basis for estimating the strength of genetic effects, although heritability estimates for a given trait vary widely across samples, and no one estimate can be considered definitive. This chapter argues that knowing only the strength of genetic factors, however, is not a sufficient basis for estimating environmental ones and indeed, that attempts to do so can systematically underestimate parenting effects. Children’s genetic predispositions and their parents’ childrearing regimes are seen to be closely interwoven, and the ways in which they function jointly to affect children’s development are explored.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Early predictors of male delinquency: a review.

           R. Loeber,  T. Dishion (1983)
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            Socioeconomic disadvantage and child development.

             V C McLoyd (1998)
            Recent research consistently reports that persistent poverty has more detrimental effects on IQ, school achievement, and socioemotional functioning than transitory poverty, with children experiencing both types of poverty generally doing less well than never-poor children. Higher rates of perinatal complications, reduced access to resources that buffer the negative effects of perinatal complications, increased exposure to lead, and less home-based cognitive stimulation partly account for diminished cognitive functioning in poor children. These factors, along with lower teacher expectancies and poorer academic-readiness skills, also appear to contribute to lower levels of school achievement among poor children. The link between socioeconomic disadvantage and children's socioemotional functioning appears to be mediated partly by harsh, inconsistent parenting and elevated exposure to acute and chronic stressors. The implications of research findings for practice and policy are considered.
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              Economic stress, coercive family process, and developmental problems of adolescents.

              We propose a model of family conflict and coercion that links economic stress in family life to adolescent symptoms of internalizing and externalizing emotions and behaviors. The 180 boys and 198 girls in the study were living in intact families in the rural Midwest, an area characterized by economic decline and uncertainty. Theoretical constructs in the model were measured using both trained observer and family member reports. These adolescents and their parents were interviewed each year for 3 years during the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. Our theoretical model proposes that economic pressure experienced by parents increases parental dysphoria and marital conflict as well as conflicts between parents and children over money. High levels of spousal irritability, coupled with coercive exchanges over money matters, were expected to be associated with greater hostility in general by parents toward their children. These hostile/coercive exchanges were expected to increase the likelihood of adolescent emotional and behavioral problems. Overall, results were consistent with the proposed model. Moreover, the hypothesized processes applied equally well to the behavior of mothers and fathers, as well as sons and daughters.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Psychology
                Annu. Rev. Psychol.
                Annual Reviews
                0066-4308
                1545-2085
                February 2000
                February 2000
                : 51
                : 1
                : 1-27
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Building 420, Jordan Hall, Stanford, California 94305–2130; email:
                Article
                10.1146/annurev.psych.51.1.1
                10751963
                © 2000

                Social policy & Welfare, Medicine, Psychology, Engineering, Public health, Life sciences

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