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Parenting in the Digital Age

Description

According to a 2016 National Cyber Security Alliance survey, "30 percent of teens say their parents are 'not aware at all' or 'not very aware' of their online activities while 57 percent of parents surveyed admit that they are similarly

According to a 2016 National Cyber Security Alliance survey, "30 percent of teens say their parents are 'not aware at all' or 'not very aware' of their online activities while 57 percent of parents surveyed admit that they are similarly in the dark about what their kids are doing online." The Parenting in the Digital Age project (parentingdigitalage.com) aims to provide parents of high schoolers with information about the effects of internet and social media use on their children, as well as information on specific websites and apps their children are using. The goal of the project is to combine cyberpsychology research with journalistic techniques to create an informative, user-friendly website. Parents deserve clear and concise resources to help navigate parenting in the digital age, and this website will serve as one.

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Created

Date Created
2016-12

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Shared environment moderates the heritability of temperament in childhood

Description

The interplay of genes and environment on children's development is a complex dynamic process. As behavior geneticists begin to model protective as well as risk factors, and interactive as well as main effect influences, development is elucidated. It

The interplay of genes and environment on children's development is a complex dynamic process. As behavior geneticists begin to model protective as well as risk factors, and interactive as well as main effect influences, development is elucidated. It was hypothesized that positive parenting, a quality home environment, and high family cohesion would moderate the heritability of three components of temperament: Effortful Control, Negative Affectivity, and Extraversion/Surgency. Participants were drawn from the Wisconsin Twin Project and consisted of 1573 twins (51% boys), 88.5% Caucasian, M=7.93 years (SD=0.87). Higher order composites for the parenting and family environment moderators were formed from mother and father reports of Behavior Management Self-Assessment, Child Rearing Practices Report, Family Assessment Device, and Family Conflict Scale. Measures of the home environment (LEOS Living Environment Observation Scale and CHAOS Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale) were not composited due to the nature of the variables. Correlational analyses showed a majority of the temperament and environmental measures to be correlated (rs = -.49-.57). For Effortful Control, Negative Affectivity, and Extraversion/Surgency, estimates for the heritability and nonshared environment were 0.60 and 0.40, 0.80 and 0.20, and 0.59 and 0.41, respectively, with no significant main effects of the shared environment. Models incorporating environmental moderation of these estimates yielded parenting as a significant moderator for Negative Affectivity, LEOS for Effortful Control and Extraversion/Surgency, and CHAOS for Effortful Control and Extraversion/Surgency. Results suggest that the quality of the family environment may act as a permissive or determinative influence on the heritability and expression of temperament. Future analyses include the examination of interactive genetic influences. These findings underscore the importance of shared environment, and support the recent literature on the benefits of positive influences on children's development.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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Genetic and Environmental Contributions to the Relation Between Parenting and Child Psychopathology

Description

Prior research has established a relation between parenting behaviors and symptoms of child psychopathology, and this association may be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Gene-environment correlation, or the influence of a child’s genes on the environment they receive,

Prior research has established a relation between parenting behaviors and symptoms of child psychopathology, and this association may be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Gene-environment correlation, or the influence of a child’s genes on the environment they receive, represents one possible mechanism through which genes and environment combine to influence child outcomes. This study examined evocative gene-environment correlation in the relation between parenting and symptoms of child psychopathology in a sample of 676 twins (51.5% female, 58.5% Caucasian, 23.7% Hispanic/Latinx, primarily middle class, MAge=8.43, SD=.62) recruited from Arizona birth records. Using univariate ACE twin biometric models, genetic influences were found to moderately contribute to internalizing symptoms (A=.47, C=.25, E=.28), while externalizing (A=.86, E=.14) and ADHD (A=.84, E=.16) symptoms were found to be highly heritable. The genetic influences for positive (C=.54, E=.46) and negative (C=.44, E=.56) parenting were smaller and found to be nonsignificant. The correlations between parenting and types of psychopathology were examined and bivariate Cholesky decompositions were conducted for statistically significant correlations. Negative parenting was moderately positively correlated with externalizing and ADHD symptoms; the relation between externalizing symptoms and negative parenting was found to be due to shared genetics, whereas the relation between negative parenting and ADHD symptoms was due to the shared environment. The mixed results regarding the role of gene environment correlation in relations between parenting and child psychopathology indicate that further research on the mechanisms of this relation is needed.

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Created

Date Created
2021-05

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Understanding behavior problems and competencies across childhood through the contributions of parental warmth and rejection and dopamine, vasopressin, and neuropeptide-Y genes

Description

Externalizing behaviors are pervasive, widespread, and disruptive across a multitude of settings and developmental contexts. While the conventional diathesis-stress model typically measures the disordered end of the spectrum, studies that span the range of behavior, from externalizing to competence behaviors,

Externalizing behaviors are pervasive, widespread, and disruptive across a multitude of settings and developmental contexts. While the conventional diathesis-stress model typically measures the disordered end of the spectrum, studies that span the range of behavior, from externalizing to competence behaviors, are necessary to see the full picture. To that end, this study examined the additive and nonadditive relations of a dimension of parenting (ranging from warm to rejecting), and variants in dopamine, vasopressin, and neuropeptide-y receptor genes on externalizing/competence in a large sample of predominantly Caucasian twin children in toddlerhood, middle childhood, and early adolescence. Variants within each gene were hypothesized to increase biological susceptibility to both negative and positive environments. Consistent with prediction, warmth related to lower externalizing/higher competence at all ages. Earlier levels of externalizing/competence washed out the effect of parental warmth on future externalizing/competence with the exception of father warmth in toddlerhood marginally predicting change in externalizing/competence from toddlerhood to middle childhood. Warmth was a significant moderator of the heritability of behavior in middle childhood and early adolescence such that behavior was less heritable (mother report) and more heritable (father report) in low warmth environments. Interactions with warmth and the dopamine and vasopressin genes in middle childhood and early adolescence emphasize the moderational role gene variants play in relations between the rearing environment and child behavior. For dopamine, the long variant related to increased sensitivity to parent warmth such that the children displayed more externalizing behaviors when exposed to rejection but they also displayed more competence behaviors when exposed to high warmth. Vasopressin moderation was only present under conditions of parental warmth, not rejection. Interactions with neuropeptide-y and warmth were not significant. The picture that emerges is one of gene-environment interplay, wherein the influence of both parenting and child genotype each depend on the level of the other. As genetic research moves forward, gene variants previously implicated as conferring risk for disorder should be reexamined in conjunction with salient aspects of the environment on the full range of the behavioral outcome of interest.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Contributions of children's or teachers' effortful control to academic functioning in early schooling

Description

I examined the role of children's or teacher's effortful control (EC) in children's academic functioning in early elementary school in two separate studies. In Study 1, I tested longitudinal relations between parents' reactions to children's displays of negative emotions in

I examined the role of children's or teacher's effortful control (EC) in children's academic functioning in early elementary school in two separate studies. In Study 1, I tested longitudinal relations between parents' reactions to children's displays of negative emotions in kindergarten, children's EC in first grade, and children's reading or math achievement in second grade (N = 291). In the fall of each school year, parents reported their positive or negative reactions and parents and teachers reported on children's EC. Standardized achievement tests assessed achievement each spring. Results from autoregressive panel mediation models demonstrated that constructs exhibited consistency across study years. In addition, first-grade EC mediated relations between parents' reactions (i.e., a difference composite of positive minus negative reactions) at kindergarten and second-grade math, but not reading, achievement. Findings suggest that one method of promoting math achievement in early school is through the socialization of children's EC. In Study 2, I examined relations between teachers' EC, teachers' reactions to children's negative emotions, the student-teacher relationship (STR), and children's externalizing behaviors or achievement among 289 second-graders and their 116 teachers. Results from mixed-model regressions showed that negative reactions and teacher-reported STR mediated relations between teachers' EC and math achievement. In addition, teacher-reported STR mediated links between teachers' EC and externalizing problems across reporters and between teachers' EC and reading achievement. Tests of moderated mediation indicated that a high-quality STR was negatively associated with externalizing problems and high levels of teachers' negative reactions were negatively related to math achievement only for students low in EC. In tests of moderation by social competence, teachers' reports of high-quality STRs tended to be negatively associated with externalizing problems, but relations were strongest for students not high in social competence. For students low in social competence only, children's reports of a high-quality STR was related to lower reading achievement. These results highlight the utility of considering whether and how teachers' own intrinsic characteristics influence classroom dynamics and students' academic functioning outcomes.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Predicting the developmental trajectories of externalizing and internalizing behaviors from parenting quality and children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia

Description

The current study delineated the developmental trajectories of early childhood externalizing and internalizing symptoms reported by mothers and fathers, and examined the role of the 18-month observed parenting quality × Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia

(RSA) interaction in predicting these trajectories. Child

The current study delineated the developmental trajectories of early childhood externalizing and internalizing symptoms reported by mothers and fathers, and examined the role of the 18-month observed parenting quality × Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia

(RSA) interaction in predicting these trajectories. Child sex was tested as a covariate and moderator. It was found that children's low baseline RSA or high RSA reactivity , in comparison to high baseline RSA or low RSA reactivity , was more reactive as a function

of early parenting quality when predicting the development of early childhood problem symptoms. Differential patterns of the interaction between parenting quality and RSA were detected for mothers' and fathers' reports. Mother-reported models showed a diathesis-stress pattern, whereas the father-reported model showed a vantage-sensitivity pattern, especially for internalizing symptoms. This may imply the potential benefit of fathers' active engagement in children's early development. In addition, the effect of the parenting quality × RSA interaction in predicting the mother-reported models was found

to be further moderated by child sex. Specifically, the parenting quality × baseline RSA interaction was significantly predictive of girls' 54-month internalizing, and the parenting quality × RSA reactivity interaction significantly predicted boys' internalizing slope. Girls with low baseline RSA or boys with high RSA reactivity were vulnerable to the less positive parenting, exhibiting high levels of 54-month internalizing symptoms or slow decline in internalizing over time, respectively. Future research directions were discussed in terms of integrating the measures of SNS and PNS in psychopathology study,

exploring the mechanisms underlying the sex difference in parenting quality × RSA interaction, and comparing the findings of children's typical and atypical development.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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The relations among mothers' personality, parenting behaviors, and children's regulation, sympathy, and prosocial behavior

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine whether maternal personality (i.e., Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) predicted maternal positive parenting (i.e., warmth/sensitivity and structure), and whether maternal parenting predicted children's regulation and sympathy and/or prosocial behavior. Additionally, the mediated effect of

The purpose of this study was to examine whether maternal personality (i.e., Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) predicted maternal positive parenting (i.e., warmth/sensitivity and structure), and whether maternal parenting predicted children's regulation and sympathy and/or prosocial behavior. Additionally, the mediated effect of maternal warmth/sensitivity on the relation between maternal Agreeableness and children's regulation and the mediated effect of maternal structure on the relation between maternal Agreeableness and children's observed sympathy/prosocial behavior were investigated. Maternal personality was measured when children (N = 256 at Time 1) were 18 months old; maternal parenting was assessed when children were 18, 30, and 42 months old; children's regulation and sympathy/prosocial behavior (observed and reported) were assessed when children were 30, 42, and 54 months old. Mothers reported on their personality; maternal warmth/sensitivity was observed; maternal structure was observed and mothers also reported on their use of reasoning; mothers and caregivers rated children's regulation (i.e., effortful control [EC]) and regulation was also observed; mothers and fathers rated children's prosocial behavior; sympathy and prosocial behavior were also observed. In a path analysis, Conscientiousness did not significantly predict maternal warmth/sensitivity or structure at 30 months, whereas Agreeableness marginally predicted maternal warmth/sensitivity at 30 months and significantly predicted maternal structure at 30 months. Maternal warmth/sensitivity at 18 months significantly predicted 30-month EC, and 30-month maternal warmth/sensitivity significantly predicted 42-month EC. Maternal structure at 30 months significantly predicted 42-month observed sympathy/prosocial behavior. Maternal warmth/sensitivity at 42 months significantly predicted 54-month observed sympathy/prosocial behavior and marginally predicted 54-month reported prosocial behavior. Maternal structure and EC did not significantly predict reported prosocial behavior across any time point. EC did not significantly predict observed sympathy/prosocial behavior across any time point and maternal warmth/sensitivity at 18 and 30 months did not predict observed or reported sympathy/prosocial behavior at 30 or 42 months, respectively. Maternal Agreeableness directly predicted 30-month reported prosocial behavior and additional paths suggested possible bidirectional relations between maternal warmth/sensitivity and structure. Mediation analyses were pursued for two indirect relations; however, neither mediated effect was significant. Additional results are presented, and findings (as well as lack thereof) are discussed in terms of extant literature.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Parent and peer influences on emerging adult substance use disorder: a genetically informed study

Description

The present study utilized longitudinal data from a high-risk community sample (n=254, 52.8% female, 47.2% children of alcoholics, 74% non-Hispanic Caucasian) to test questions concerning the effects of genetic risk, parental knowledge, and peer substance use on emerging adult substance

The present study utilized longitudinal data from a high-risk community sample (n=254, 52.8% female, 47.2% children of alcoholics, 74% non-Hispanic Caucasian) to test questions concerning the effects of genetic risk, parental knowledge, and peer substance use on emerging adult substance use disorders (SUDs). Specifically, this study examined whether parental knowledge and peer substance use mediated the effects of parent alcohol use disorder (AUD) and genetic risk for behavioral undercontrol on SUD. The current study also examined whether genetic risk moderated effects of parental knowledge and peer substance use on risk for SUD. Finally, this study examined these questions over and above a genetic "control" which explained a large proportion of variance in the outcome, thereby providing a stricter test of environmental influences.

Analyses were performed in a path analysis framework. To test these research questions, the current study employed two polygenic risk scores. The first, a theory-based score, was formed using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from receptor systems implicated in the amplification of positive effects in the presence of new/exciting stimuli and/or pleasure derived from using substances. The second, an empirically-based score, was formed using a data-driven approach that explained a large amount of variance in SUDs. Together, these scores allowed the present study to test explanations for the relations among parent AUD, parental knowledge, peer substance use, and SUDs.

Results of the current study found that having parents with less knowledge or an AUD conferred greater risk for SUDs, but only for those at higher genetic risk for behavioral undercontrol. The current study replicated research findings suggesting that peer substance use mediated the effect of parental AUD on SUD. However, it adds to this literature by suggesting that some mechanism other than increased behavioral undercontrol explains relations among parental AUD, peer substance use, and emerging adult SUD. Taken together, these findings indicate that children of parents with AUDs comprise a particularly risky group, although likelihood of SUD within this group is not uniform. These findings also suggest that some of the most important environmental risk factors for SUDs exert effects that vary across level of genetic propensity.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015