Hajal, N. J., Neiderhiser, J. M., Moore, G. A., Leve, L. D., Shaw, D. S., Ge, X., Scaramella, L. V., Ganiban, J. M., & Reiss, D. (in press). Angry responses to infant challenges: Parent, marital, and child genetic factors associated with harsh parenting. Child Development.
Abstract: We examined whether positive child-, parent-, and family-level
characteristics were associated with harsh parenting in families with 9-
month-olds (N=561). We were particularly interested in examining
evocative gene-environment correlation (rGE) by testing the effect of birth
parent temperament on adoptive parents’ harsh parenting. Additionally, we
examined associations among adoptive parents’ own temperaments, marital relationship quality, and parenting. Adoptive fathers’ harsh
parenting was inversely related to marital quality and to birth mother
positive temperament, indicating evocative rGE. Adoptive mothers’ and
fathers’ negative temperaments were also associated with harsh parenting.
Findings suggest the importance of enhancing positive family
characteristics in addition to mitigating negative characteristics, as well as engaging multiple levels of the family system to prevent harsh parenting.