Community Parenting Matter: A Gene by Environment Investigation of Childhood Aggression and Violent Behavior

Files

l._sattler_dissertation_community_and_parenting_matter.pdf

Citation

Sattler, Leslie J., “Community Parenting Matter: A Gene by Environment Investigation of Childhood Aggression and Violent Behavior,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed December 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/165.

Title

Community Parenting Matter: A Gene by Environment Investigation of Childhood Aggression and Violent Behavior

Creator

Sattler, Leslie J.

Date

2018

Description

This three-paper dissertation examined gene by environment interactions (GxE) between polymorphisms (i.e., two composite variables of dopamine and serotonin alleles), community-level factors (i.e., community instability, social control, and exposure to community violence), parenting style (i.e., authoritarian vs. nonauthoritarian), and childhood aggression and violent behavior using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. The conceptual framework guiding this study blends Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model with social disorganization, social cognitive, differential susceptibility, and behavioral genetics theories. Analyses consisted of multivariate regression, tests of differential susceptibility using simple slopes and regions of significance, and comparisons of semi partial correlations. Findings from the first study indicate that the level of social control and community instability in one’s neighborhood interacted with genotypes to predict childhood aggression and violent behavior, whereas results from the second study demonstrated significant interactions between genotypes and parental monitoring and parental involvement. Moreover, both studies demonstrated that girls who possessed specific dopamine and serotonin polymorphisms were differentially susceptible to the environment: social control in Study 1, and parental involvement in Study 2. Semipartial correlation comparison between macro-level GxE interactions and exo-level interactions (Study 3), demonstrated that parental monitoring, compared to social control and community instability, was more predictive of violent behavior for boys at Years 3 and 9 but not at Year 5. For girls, social control was predictive of violent behavior at Years 3 and 5, but parental monitoring exerted more influence at Year 9. Consideration of the dynamics at play in these results suggests that community-level factors and parenting factors exert different influence at different time points to predict violent behavior. These findings underscore the need for a multilevel approach to reducing children’s aggression and violence, including interventions that strengthen the cohesion and residential stability of communities, build positive parenting skills, and support families.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (262 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Doctoral Dissertations

Collection