28 Dec Family Characteristics Linked to Aggressive Behaviors in Boys and Girls
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Richard E. Tremblay, PhD, Professor
Department of Pediatrics and Department of Psychology
University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
School of Public Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Adolescent who have frequently use physical aggression are at high risk of school failure, criminal behavior, as well as physical and mental health problems.
A major limit to preventive interventions is our ability to trace the developmental trajectories of physical aggression from infancy to adolescence using a uniform source of information.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The physical aggressions of a representative sample of children (N= 2223) from a Canadian province were assessed by mothers during early childhood, teachers during elementary school and children’s self reports from age 10 to 13 years. A new statistical procedure was used to take into account the information from the three sources of information. Results of the analyses showed that for boys and girls, the frequency of physical aggressions increased from age 1.5 years to age 3.5 years and then substantially decreased until age 13 years. Three distinct developmental trajectories of physical aggression were observed for girls and 5 for boys. Most family characteristics measured at 5 months after the child’s birth were associated with a high physical aggression trajectory for boys and girls.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Family characteristics which best predict boys and girls serious long term problems with physical aggression are mother’s antisocial behavior during her adolescence, mother’s young age at first child’s birth, parents’ depression during the months that follow the child’s birth, parents’ education, household income, socioeconomic status and number of siblings .
Thus, family characteristics at 5 months after the child’s birth could be used to target preschool interventions aimed at preventing the development of boys’ and girls’ chronic physical aggression problems.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: To prevent the development of children’s chronic physical aggression problems we need experimental studies that will identify the most effective support to young pregnant women and their spouse.
Teymoori A, Côté SM, Jones BL, et al. Risk Factors Associated With Boys’ and Girls’ Developmental Trajectories of Physical Aggression From Early Childhood Through Early Adolescence. JAMA Netw Open.2018;1(8):e186364. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.6364
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Last Updated on December 28, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD