Effects of Parenting and Community Violence on Aggression-Related Social Goals: a Monozygotic Twin Differences Study.
ABSTRACT: Community violence exposure and harsh parenting have been linked to maladaptive outcomes, possibly via their effects on social cognition. The Social Information Processing (SIP) model has been used to study distinct socio-cognitive processes, demonstrating links between community violence exposure, harsh parenting, and maladaptive SIP. Though much of this research assumes these associations are causal, genetic confounds have made this assumption difficult to rigorously test. Comparisons of discordant monozygotic (MZ) twins provide one empirical test of possible causality, as differences between MZ twins must be environmental in origin. The present study examined effects of parenting and community violence exposure on SIP - specifically aggressive and avoidant social goals - in a sample of 426 MZ twin dyads (N?=?852 twins, 48% female). Phenotypically, we found that lower positive parenting and greater harsh parenting were associated with greater endorsement of dominance and revenge goals. We also found that indirect and direct community violence exposure was associated with greater endorsement of avoidance goals. Using an MZ difference design, we found that the relationships between lower levels of positive parenting and endorsement of dominance and revenge goals were due, in part, to environmental processes. Moreover, the relationships between the impact of indirect and direct community violence exposure and avoidance goals, as well as between the impact of indirect community violence exposure and revenge goals, appeared to be due to non-shared environmental processes. Our results establish social and contextual experiences as important environmental influences on children's social goals, which may increase risk for later psychopathology.
Project description:Objective:To assess the impact of 'Parenting for Lifelong Health: Sinovuyo Teen', a parenting programme for adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries, on abuse and parenting practices. Design:Pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial. Setting:40 villages/urban sites (clusters) in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa. Participants:552 families reporting conflict with their adolescents (aged 10-18). Intervention:Intervention clusters (n=20) received a 14-session parent and adolescent programme delivered by trained community members. Control clusters (n=20) received a hygiene and hand-washing promotion programme. Main outcome measures:Primary outcomes: abuse and parenting practices at 1 and 5-9 months postintervention. Secondary outcomes: caregiver and adolescent mental health and substance use, adolescent behavioural problems, social support, exposure to community violence and family financial well-being at 5-9 months postintervention. Blinding was not possible. Results:At 5-9 months postintervention, the intervention was associated with lower abuse (caregiver report incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.55 (95% CI 0.40 to 0.75, P<0.001); corporal punishment (caregiver report IRR=0.55 (95% CI 0.37 to 0.83, P=0.004)); improved positive parenting (caregiver report d=0.25 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.47, P=0.024)), involved parenting (caregiver report d=0.86 (95% CI 0.64 to 1.08, P<0.001); adolescent report d=0.28 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.48, P=0.006)) and less poor supervision (caregiver report d=-0.50 (95% CI -0.70 to -0.29, P<0.001); adolescent report d=-0.34 (95% CI -0.55 to -0.12, P=0.002)), but not decreased neglect (caregiver report IRR 0.31 (95% CI 0.09 to 1.08, P=0.066); adolescent report IRR 1.46 (95% CI 0.75 to 2.85, P=0.264)), inconsistent discipline (caregiver report d=-0.14 (95% CI -0.36 to 0.09, P=0.229); adolescent report d=0.03 (95% CI -0.20 to 0.26, P=0.804)), or adolescent report of abuse IRR=0.90 (95% CI 0.66 to 1.24, P=0.508) and corporal punishment IRR=1.05 (95% CI 0.70 to 1.57, P=0.819). Secondary outcomes showed reductions in caregiver corporal punishment endorsement, mental health problems, parenting stress, substance use and increased social support (all caregiver report). Intervention adolescents reported no differences in mental health, behaviour or community violence, but had lower substance use (all adolescent report). Intervention families had improved economic welfare, financial management and more violence avoidance planning (in caregiver and adolescent report). No adverse effects were detected. Conclusions:This parenting programme shows promise for reducing violence, improving parenting and family functioning in low-resource settings. Trial registration number:Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry PACTR201507001119966.
Project description:In order to better understand why some children retaliate when they feel provoked and others do not, the present study identified "pacifistically-oriented" children who made negative interpretations in response to unambiguous provocations, yet did not endorse revenge goals, and compared them to "revenge-seeking" children who also made negative interpretations but did endorse revenge goals. Groups were identified based on seventh graders' (N?=?367; 54.77% male; 22.89% racial/ethnic minority) responses to hypothetical situations in which a peer excluded and insulted them. Comparing these groups revealed that Pacifists endorsed relationship-maintaining goals and emotion regulation goals more highly than Revenge-Seekers. Revenge-Seekers reported more anger and endorsed beliefs about negative reciprocity and aggression being legitimate more highly than Pacifists. Additionally, Revenge-Seekers were more disrespect sensitive than were Pacifists, based on a measure of vigilance for signs of disrespect and expectations that others would disrespect them. Together these findings point to social-cognitive and emotion-related processes that may inhibit revenge-seeking in unambiguous provocation situations, even when children interpret the peer's behavior quite negatively.
Project description:Harsh parenting attitudes and behaviors negatively impact children's behavior and development, and are linked to heightened levels of violence in children. Parent training programs are effective preventive interventions, but only reach caregivers who attend them. In this study, programs were implemented alongside a community mobilization process, intended to use caregivers' social networks to disseminate new parenting skills community wide. We used social network analysis to explore whether this intervention, first, increased positive parenting, second, changed social networks of female caregivers (selection), and, third, influenced parenting behavior via connections (socialization), while controlling for psychiatric morbidity, parenting stress, alcohol misuse, and child's age. "Colored" Afrikaans-speaking female caregivers (N?=?235; mean age 35.92 years) in a rural community in South Africa, with children between 1½ and 18 years old, were included in the study; two waves of data were collected (January-April 2016 and June-October 2017). We detected community-wide increases in positive parenting behavior (involvement, supervision, consistent discipline, and reduced corporal punishment). Attending at least one session of a parenting skills training program (n?=?51; 21.7%) significantly predicted increases in network centrality (i.e., outdegree and indegree). Caregivers appeared to use similar parenting behavior to other caregivers they were connected to within the network, especially when those others attended a parenting skills training program. Overall, the results suggest that the information in the intervention was spread throughout the community through social interactions with program attendees and the community mobilization process. The results also illustrate the value of social network analysis for ascertaining the processes by which the intervention achieved its impact.
Project description:Since armed conflict began in 1996, widespread sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has resulted in many sexual violence-related pregnancies (SVRPs). However, there are limited data on the relationships between mothers and their children from sexual violence. This study aimed to evaluate the nature and determinants of these maternal-child relationships.Using respondent-driven sampling, 757 women raising children from SVRPs in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo were interviewed. A parenting index was created from questions assessing the maternal-child relationship. The influences of social stigma, family and community acceptance, and maternal mental health on the parenting index were assessed in univariate and multivariable analyses.The majority of mothers reported positive attitudes toward their children from SVRPs. Prevalence of perceived family or community stigma toward the women or their children ranged from 31.8% to 42.9%, and prevalence of perceived family or community acceptance ranged from 45.2% to 73.5%. In multivariable analyses, stigma toward the child, as well as maternal anxiety and depression, were associated with lower parenting indexes, whereas acceptance of the mother or child and presence of a spouse were associated with higher parenting indexes (all P ? .01).In this study with a large sample size, stigma and mental health disorders negatively influenced parenting attitudes, whereas family and community acceptance were associated with adaptive parenting attitudes. Interventions to reduce stigmatization, augment acceptance, and improve maternal mental health may improve the long-term well-being of mothers and children from SVRPs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Research has shown that exposure to interpersonal violence is associated with poorer mental health outcomes. Understanding the impact of interpersonal violence on mental health in the early postpartum period has important implications for parenting, child development, and delivery of health services. The objective of the present study was to determine the impact of interpersonal violence on depression, anxiety, stress, and parenting morale in the early postpartum.<h4>Methods</h4>Women participating in a community-based prospective cohort study (n?=?1319) completed questionnaires prior to 25 weeks gestation, between 34-36 weeks gestation, and at 4 months postpartum. Women were asked about current and past abuse at the late pregnancy data collection time point. Postpartum depression, anxiety, stress, and parenting morale were assessed at 4 months postpartum using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the Spielberger State Anxiety Index, the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale, and the Parenting Morale Index, respectively. The relationship between interpersonal violence and postpartum psychosocial health status was examined using Chi-square analysis (p?<?0.05) and multivariable logistic regression.<h4>Results</h4>Approximately 30% of women reported one or more experience of interpersonal violence. Sixteen percent of women reported exposure to child maltreatment, 12% reported intimate partner violence, and 12% reported other abuse. Multivariable logistic regression analysis found that a history of child maltreatment had an independent effect on depression in the postpartum, while both child maltreatment and intimate partner violence were associated with low parenting morale. Interpersonal violence did not have an independent effect on anxiety or stress in the postpartum.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The most robust relationships were seen for the influence of child maltreatment on postpartum depression and low parenting morale. By identifying women at risk for depression and low parenting morale, screening and treatment in the prenatal period could have far-reaching effects on postpartum mental health thus benefiting new mothers and their families in the long term.
Project description:Empathy--putting oneself in another's shoes--has been described as the "social glue" that holds society together. This study investigates how exposure to sexist video games can decrease empathy for female violence victims. We hypothesized that playing violent-sexist video games would increase endorsement of masculine beliefs, especially among participants who highly identify with dominant and aggressive male game characters. We also hypothesized that the endorsement of masculine beliefs would reduce empathy toward female violence victims. Participants (N = 154) were randomly assigned to play a violent-sexist game, a violent-only game, or a non-violent game. After gameplay, measures of identification with the game character, traditional masculine beliefs, and empathy for female violence victims were assessed. We found that participants' gender and their identification with the violent male video game character moderated the effects of the exposure to sexist-violent video games on masculine beliefs. Our results supported the prediction that playing violent-sexist video games increases masculine beliefs, which occurred for male (but not female) participants who were highly identified with the game character. Masculine beliefs, in turn, negatively predicted empathic feelings for female violence victims. Overall, our study shows who is most affected by the exposure to sexist-violent video games, and why the effects occur. (200 words).
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> Eliminating violence against children is a prominent policy goal, codified in the Sustainable Development Goals, and parenting programs are one approach to preventing and reducing violence. However, we know relatively little about dissemination and scale-up of parenting programs, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The scale-up of two parenting programs, Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) for Young Children and PLH for Parents and Teens, developed under Creative Commons licensing and tested in randomized trials, provides a unique opportunity to study their dissemination in 25 LMICs. <h4>Methods</h4> The Scale-Up of Parenting Evaluation Research (SUPER) study uses a range of methods to study the dissemination of these two programs. The study will examine (1) process and extent of dissemination and scale-up, (2) how the programs are implemented and factors associated with variation in implementation, (3) violence against children and family outcomes before and after program implementation, (4) barriers and facilitators to sustained program delivery, and (5) costs and resources needed for implementation. Primary data collection, focused on three case study projects, will include interviews and focus groups with program facilitators, coordinators, funders, and other stakeholders, and a summary of key organizational characteristics. Program reports and budgets will be reviewed as part of relevant contextual information. Secondary data analysis of routine data collected within ongoing implementation and existing research studies will explore family enrolment and attendance, as well as family reports of parenting practices, violence against children, child behavior, and child and caregiver wellbeing before and after program participation. We will also examine data on staff sociodemographic and professional background, and their competent adherence to the program, collected as part of staff training and certification. <h4>Discussion</h4> This project will be the first study of its kind to draw on multiple data sources and methods to examine the dissemination and scale-up of a parenting program across multiple LMIC contexts. While this study reports on the implementation of two specific parenting programs, we anticipate that our findings will be of relevance across the field of parenting, as well as other violence prevention and social programs.
Project description:Early childhood exposure to family violence predicts increased risk for psychopathology. However, violence between partners and towards children often co-occur. This complicates efforts to determine how experiences of family violence contribute to early mental health problems. Utilizing mother-report data on harsh parenting and intimate partner violence (IPV) from two large community-based, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse samples of 3-5-year-old children, we illustrate the value of a bifactor method for characterizing a family climate in which verbal and physical violence are more chronic and pervasive among family members. In our Calibration sample (N?=?1,179), we demonstrate the fit of a bifactor model with a shared violence factor reflecting violence among partners and towards children and orthogonal factors for physically harsh parenting and IPV. Examination of item distributions along quartiles on the identified factors reveals that violent behaviors are most frequent/chronic in families with high scores on the shared violence factor. Next, we apply this model in Validation (N?=?1,316) and lab-visit samples (N?=?369). Children's symptoms and impairment showed relatively strong and consistent associations with the shared factor. Some unique associations with IPV and harsh parenting were also observed. Overall, patterns suggest particularly negative impact when verbal and physical violence are more chronic and pervasive among family members. Finally, evidence supporting the bifactor model's validity relative to multi-method data from coded interviews about child abuse and IPV and observed parenting is presented. Findings illustrate the value of a bifactor approach for the meaningful characterization of shared and specific features of family violence.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Children in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are at high risk for exposure to violence and later violent behaviour. The World Health Organization has declared an urgent need for the evaluation and implementation of low-cost parenting interventions in LMICs to prevent violence. Two areas of significant early risk are harsh parenting and poor child cognitive and socio-emotional development. Parenting interventions suitable for LMIC contexts have been developed targeting these risk factors and have been shown to have promising effects. However, their impact on child aggression, a key precursor of violence, has yet to be determined. The Pelotas Trial of Parenting Interventions for Aggression (PIÁ) has been designed to address this issue. METHODS:We are conducting a randomised controlled trial to evaluate two early parenting interventions for mothers of children aged between 30 and 42 months in a Brazilian city. The first of these, dialogic book-sharing (DBS), aims to promote child cognitive and socio-emotional development; and the second, the ACT Raising Safe Kids Program (ACT), is designed to reduce harsh parenting. These interventions are being compared with a control group receiving neither intervention. Three hundred and sixty-nine families in a birth cohort are being randomly allocated to one of the three groups (DBS, ACT, Control). Facilitators deliver the interventions to groups of five to 10 mothers at weekly sessions for 8 weeks in DBS and 9 weeks in ACT. Independent assessments of parenting and child development are being made before the interventions, shortly afterwards, and at follow-up 6 months later. The primary outcome is child aggression, and the two main secondary outcomes are: (1) child cognitive and socio-emotional development and (2) harsh parenting. Longer-term outcomes will be investigated as the birth cohort is followed into late childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. DISCUSSION:The Pelotas Trial of Parenting Interventions for Aggression (PIÁ) aims to evaluate the impact of two early parenting interventions on child aggression and several other key risk factors for the development of violence, including aspects of parenting and child cognition and socio-emotional functioning. The study is being carried out in a LMIC context where violence constitutes a major social and health burden. Since the two interventions are brief and, with modest levels of training, readily deliverable in LMIC settings, a demonstration that they benefit parenting and reduce risk factors for violence would be of major significance. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Brazilian Ministry of Health Register of Clinical Trials, ID: RBR-2kwfsk . Registered on 6 June 2018.
Project description:Prior research has demonstrated the scope and impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on health and wellbeing. Less is known about the trajectories from exposure to ACEs, such as witnessing family conflict and violence in the community, to teen dating violence perpetration, and the protective factors that buffer the association between early exposure to ACEs and later teen dating violence perpetration. Students (n?=?1611) completed self-report surveys six times during middle and high school from 2008 to 2013. In early middle school, the sub-sample was 50.2% female and racially/ethnically diverse: 47.7% Black, 36.4% White, 3.4% Hispanic, 1.7% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 10.8% other. Youth were, on average, 12.7 years old. Latent transition analysis was used to assess how trajectories of exposure to parental conflict and community violence during middle school transition into classes of teen dating violence perpetration (e.g., sexual, physical, threatening, relational, and verbal) in high school. Protective factors were then analyzed as moderators of the transition probabilities. Three class trajectories of ACEs during middle school were identified: decreasing family conflict and increasing community violence (n?=?103; 6.4%), stable low family conflict and stable low community violence (n?=?1027; 63.7%), stable high family conflict and stable high community violence (n?=?481; 29.9%). A three class solution for teen dating violence perpetration in high school was found: high all teen dating violence class (n?=?113; 7.0%), physical and verbal only teen dating violence class (n?=?335; 20.8%), and low all teen dating violence class (n?=?1163; 72.2%). Social support, empathy, school belonging and parental monitoring buffered some transitions from ACEs exposure trajectory classes to teen dating violence perpetration classes. Comprehensive prevention strategies that address multiple forms of violence while bolstering protective factors across the social ecology may buffer negative effects of exposure to violence in adolescence.