Background: Negative parenting practices may be an environmental risk factor for subsequent conduct problems. Research on the association between parenting practices and callous-unemotional traits, a risk factor for conduct problems, has produced mixed findings.
Aims: To investigate whether negative parental discipline is a non-shared environmental risk factor for the development of conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits.
Method: Longitudinal, multi-informant data from a community sample of twins were analysed using the monozygotic (MZ) twin differences design for 4508 twins (2254 twin pairs).
Results: Within MZ twin pairs, the twin receiving more negative parental discipline at 7 years had more conduct problems (but not more callous-unemotional traits) at 12 years.
Conclusions: During the transition to early adolescence, negative parental discipline operates as a non-shared environmental risk factor for development of conduct problems, but not for the development of callous-unemotional traits.