Prospective family predictors of aggression toward female partners for at-risk young men

Dev Psychol. 1998 Nov;34(6):1175-88. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.34.6.1175.


Social learning models of the intergenerational transmission of aggression were tested for an at-risk sample of young adult men who entered a longitudinal study (Oregon Youth Study) in Grade 4 and were assessed with a female partner in young adulthood (17-20 years old). The associations of 2 family process variables--parental dyadic aggression and unskilled parenting, assessed both in late childhood and early adolescence with the son's later aggression toward a partner--were examined. Parental antisocial behavior was hypothesized to be associated with both family process variables. Unskilled parenting was hypothesized to play a key role in the son's later aggression toward an intimate partner, mediated by his development of antisocial behavior by adolescence. Fully prospective structural equation models were tested with multimethod, multiagent data, including both observed and reported aggression toward the partner. Findings indicate that the major hypothesized pathways through unskilled parenting practices and the boys' antisocial behavior were implicated in the intergenerational transmission of aggression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression*
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intergenerational Relations*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment