Developmental Antecedents of Parenting Behaviors in a Multi-Generational Study of Antisocial Behavior

Terence P. Thornberry, University at Albany
Pamela K. Porter, University at Albany
Marvin D. Krohn, University at Albany
Alan J. Lizotte, University at Albany


Parenting behaviors are often portrayed as a major mediator of intergenerational continuities in antisocial behavior. That is, one of the major reasons that antisocial parents are somewhat more apt to have antisocial children is that these parents often do not display very effective styles of parenting. Despite the very central role that parenting styles play in the origins of antisocial behavior, we have surprisingly little information about the long-term developmental precursors of these behaviors and how the parents' earlier adolescent development, including delinquency and drug use, influences their later parenting styles. The central research question of this paper focuses on this issue: What are the earlier, as opposed to contemporaneous, influences that lead to different styles of parenting? To address this question, we use long-term data from the Rochester Youth Development Study, an ongoing examination of the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior. In particular, we examine how the structural position of the family of origin, the formation of human and social capital during adolescence, psychological adjustment, and involvement in antisocial behavior and deviant social networks influence the emergence of parenting styles.

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Updated 05/20/2006