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Title: Predicting child internalizing and externalizing behavior from child normal personality characteristics, parental behavior and their interactions
Authors: Van Leeuwen, Karla
De Clercq, Barbara
De Fruyt, Filip
Mervielde, Ivan #
Issue Date: 2003
Conference: International Congress on the Disorders of Personality edition:8 location:Firenze (Italy) date:9-12 October 2003
Abstract: Relatively few studies have addressed the combined or interactive effects of child individual differences and parental behavior as determinants of internalizing and externalizing behavior in children. The present research uses a broad-band Five Factor Model instrument to assess children’s personality, comprising items that describe the normal range of child personality characteristics. The goal of the study was to investigate interactions between each of the big five personality domains and two parenting dimensions as predictors of child problem behavior.
Clinically referred children (N = 205) were recruited from various mental health services. Non-referred children (N = 596) were recruited via randomly selected elementary and secondary schools. Mothers rated their child’s personality with the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children (Mervielde & De Fruyt, 1999) and their child’s problem behavior with the Child Behavior Checklist (Verhulst, Van der Ende & Koot, 1996). Both mothers and children were administered the Ghent Parental Behavior Scale (Van Leeuwen), which provided ratings of maternal positive parental behavior and negative control.
Hierarchical moderated regression analyses showed significant interactions between parenting and child personality, principally for externalizing behavior. The most prominent personality domains in the interactions were Benevolence and Conscientiousness. The results indicate that parenting dimensions are good predictors of externalizing behavior beyond personality, whereas for internalizing behavior the best predictors are the personality domains. The discussion focuses on developmental antecedents of personality pathology.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Parenting and Special Education
# (joint) last author

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