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Antecedents of Toddler Aggression: Dysfunctional Parenting in Mother-Toddler Dyads

Antecedents of Toddler Aggression: Dysfunctional Parenting in Mother-Toddler Dyads,10.1207/s15374424jccp3502_3,Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescen

Antecedents of Toddler Aggression: Dysfunctional Parenting in Mother-Toddler Dyads   (Citations: 9)
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Aggression is stable as early as 2 years of age and predicts many negative adult out- comes. Although longitudinal predictors of child aggression have been identified, in- formation is lacking regarding the proximal precursors of toddlers' aggression. Dur- ing a 30-min interaction, 54 mother-toddler dyads were observed. Toddlers were categorized as aggressive or nonaggressive based on whether they exhibited aggres- sion toward their mothers within the interaction. Most toddlers in both groups esca- lated from mild to more severe forms of misbehavior. Mothers of aggressive toddlers displayed more lax and overreactive discipline when addressing misbehaviors that preceded aggression than did mothers of nonaggressive toddlers. Mothers of aggres- sive toddlers either ignored or attended neutrally or positively to the aggression. Im- plications for parenting interventions are discussed. Chronic aggressive behavior established by early childhood is a risk factor for physical violence, seri- ous delinquency, and theft in adolescence (Nagin & Tremblay, 1999). Further, high levels of aggressive be- havior in childhood predict many negative adult out- comes, such as drug use, violent behavior, antisocial-
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