Title

Parenting Styles Moderate the Relationship Between Exposure to Violence and Acceptance of Aggression Among Children

Presenting Author Name/s

Brooke Puharic

Faculty Advisor

Michelle Kelley

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Developmental Psychology | Psychology

Description/Abstract

Consistent with social learning theory, previous research has shown that exposure to violence predicts children’s acceptance of aggression. In addition, parenting styles influence children’s acceptance of aggression. Specifically, ineffective paternal parenting style is positively associated with a child's acceptance of aggression. To expand on previous research, the current study examined if mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles moderated the relationship between exposure to violence and acceptance of aggression among children. It was hypothesized that children with mothers and fathers who engage in more ineffective parenting styles who are exposed to more violence will report greater acceptance of aggression. Couples (N = 89) and their child between the ages of 5 to 18 (Mage child = 11.07, SD = 3.88) were selected for the current study. Participants were part of a larger study that examined the longitudinal outcomes of couple’s therapy in families in which one or both parents met criteria for a substance use disorder. Each partner completed the Parenting Scale that assessed typical discipline strategies where higher scores indicate more ineffective parenting strategies. The child completed the Exposure to Violence questionnaire (ETV) that measured exposure to community and interparental violence where total higher scores indicated witnessing more violent incidents; children also completed the Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale that examined the total general and retaliation acceptance of aggression. Hierarchical regression models were conducted to determine if there was a significant interaction between ETV and parenting strategies on acceptance of aggression, controlling for child age. Children who reported more lifetime ETV were more likely to approve of aggression (r = .44, p < .001). Fathers’ parenting strategies significantly moderated the relationship between ETV and approval of aggression, F (4, 80) = 10.11, p < .001, R2 = .30). Specifically, children who experienced more ETV and had fathers who reported higher levels of ineffective parenting strategies were more approving of aggression (b = 3.79, p < .001). However, ETV and approval of aggression were not significantly related for children with fathers who reported more effective parenting strategies (b = -0.35, p = .803). In contrast, mothers’ parenting strategies did not moderate the relationship between ETV and approval of aggression. The current findings indicate that compared to mothers, paternal parenting styles may influence children’s approval of aggression. Thus, family therapies should highlight the importance of improving parenting skills particularly among fathers who reside with their children as improving parenting styles may reduce the likelihood of aggression among children.

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Start Date

2-2-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 12:30 PM

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Feb 2nd, 8:00 AM Feb 2nd, 12:30 PM

Parenting Styles Moderate the Relationship Between Exposure to Violence and Acceptance of Aggression Among Children

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Consistent with social learning theory, previous research has shown that exposure to violence predicts children’s acceptance of aggression. In addition, parenting styles influence children’s acceptance of aggression. Specifically, ineffective paternal parenting style is positively associated with a child's acceptance of aggression. To expand on previous research, the current study examined if mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles moderated the relationship between exposure to violence and acceptance of aggression among children. It was hypothesized that children with mothers and fathers who engage in more ineffective parenting styles who are exposed to more violence will report greater acceptance of aggression. Couples (N = 89) and their child between the ages of 5 to 18 (Mage child = 11.07, SD = 3.88) were selected for the current study. Participants were part of a larger study that examined the longitudinal outcomes of couple’s therapy in families in which one or both parents met criteria for a substance use disorder. Each partner completed the Parenting Scale that assessed typical discipline strategies where higher scores indicate more ineffective parenting strategies. The child completed the Exposure to Violence questionnaire (ETV) that measured exposure to community and interparental violence where total higher scores indicated witnessing more violent incidents; children also completed the Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale that examined the total general and retaliation acceptance of aggression. Hierarchical regression models were conducted to determine if there was a significant interaction between ETV and parenting strategies on acceptance of aggression, controlling for child age. Children who reported more lifetime ETV were more likely to approve of aggression (r = .44, p < .001). Fathers’ parenting strategies significantly moderated the relationship between ETV and approval of aggression, F (4, 80) = 10.11, p < .001, R2 = .30). Specifically, children who experienced more ETV and had fathers who reported higher levels of ineffective parenting strategies were more approving of aggression (b = 3.79, p < .001). However, ETV and approval of aggression were not significantly related for children with fathers who reported more effective parenting strategies (b = -0.35, p = .803). In contrast, mothers’ parenting strategies did not moderate the relationship between ETV and approval of aggression. The current findings indicate that compared to mothers, paternal parenting styles may influence children’s approval of aggression. Thus, family therapies should highlight the importance of improving parenting skills particularly among fathers who reside with their children as improving parenting styles may reduce the likelihood of aggression among children.