Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shelleby, Elizabeth C.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


A growing body of research has suggested that parenting behaviors influence the development of youth conduct problems (CP) and callous-unemotional traits (CU). However, few studies have examined how parenting impacts CP and CU growth over time, and whether these associations differ based on the presence of additional community-level risk factors. This study used data from the Pathways to Desistance project (N = 1,354) to investigate how distinct parenting behaviors (i.e., positive parenting, harsh parenting, and parental knowledge) impact the initial level and growth in CP and CU across four years among adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system. Interaction effects between neighborhood risk factors (i.e., neighborhood disorder, community violence exposure) and each parenting behavior on both CU and CP outcomes were also assessed. Latent growth modeling indicated that youth exposed to higher levels of harsh parenting were more likely to demonstrate higher CP and CU at time 1. Higher harsh parenting was further associated with a steeper decline in both CP and CU over time, with an acceleration in CU at later time points. Adolescents who received higher positive parenting demonstrated lower CU at time 1; higher parent knowledge was also found to be associated with lower time 1 CP and CU. Hypothesized interaction effects between parenting and ND/CVE on CP/CU outcomes were unsupported. Implications of findings in terms of both research and intervention efforts are discussed, including emphasis on intervention programs aimed at promoting adaptive and prosocial parenting behavior.


132 pages




Northern Illinois University

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