Antecedents and outcomes of joint trajectories of mother-son conflict and warmth during middle childhood and adolescence

Child Dev. 2011 Sep-Oct;82(5):1676-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01626.x. Epub 2011 Aug 29.


This study investigated the development of mother-son relationship quality from ages 5 to 15 in a sample of 265 low-income families. Nonparametric random effects modeling was utilized to uncover distinct and homogeneous developmental trajectories of conflict and warmth; antecedents and outcomes of the trajectory groups also were examined. Four conflict trajectory groups and 3 warmth trajectory groups were identified. Difficult temperament in early childhood discriminated both conflict and warmth trajectory group membership (TGM), and adult relationship quality in early childhood was related to warmth trajectories. In addition, conflict TGM differentiated youth antisocial behavior during adolescence, and warmth trajectories predicted adolescent peer relationship quality and youth moral disengagement. Implications for socialization processes are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family Conflict / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Moral Development
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Object Attachment*
  • Peer Group
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Development*
  • Poverty
  • Social Adjustment
  • Socialization*
  • Temperament