Congratulations to postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Chang Liu on a new publication in Child Development. The title is, "Child Effects on Parental Negativity: The Role of Heritable and Prenatal Factors" Clinical program faculty member, Dr. Jody Ganiban is a co-author. Congratulations!
Full reference and brief description below:
Liu, C., Ji, L., Chow, S.M., Kang, B., Leve, L.D., Shaw, D.S., Ganiban, J.M., Reiss, D., & Neiderhiser, J.M. (in press). Child Evocative Effects on Parental Negativity: The Role of Heritable and Prenatal Factors. Child Development.
Parenting is often considered to have a direct environmental impact on child development, with no clear acknowledgement of the role of the child. There have been exceptions to this unidirectional focus, with some advocating a focus on bidirectional influences between children and parents. For example, several studies report child effects on parental hostility during early childhood. It is still unclear, however, how children influence their parents’ behavior towards them. The current study examined two possible mechanisms, evocative gene-environment correlation and prenatal factors, in accounting for child effects on parental negativity. Participants included 561 children adopted at birth, and their adoptive parents and birth parents within a prospective longitudinal adoption study. Findings indicated child effects on parental negativity, such that toddlers’ negative reactivity at 18 months was positively associated with adoptive parents’ over-reactive and hostile parenting at 27 months. Furthermore, we found that child effects on parental negativity were partially due to heritable (e.g., birth mother internalizing problems and substance use) and prenatal factors (e.g., birth mother illicit drug use during pregnancy) that influence children’s negative reactivity at 18 months. The current study provides critical evidence for “child on parent” effects. It helps to clarify the mechanisms underlying child effects on parenting and provides new insight into the role of the child in shaping their own rearing environment.