Katrina A Markowicz, Hasti A Raveau, Michael L Lopez, Hagan A Risner, Thomaidha Qipo & Erika L Bocknek
Abstract: This study investigated concordance between maternal and paternal reports of their children’s aggressive behaviors, measured via the Child Behavior Checklist 11/2–5 among families enrolled in the National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP; N=657 in current study). We hypothesized concordance to be related to parental mental health and demographic factors. Results demonstrated that children had higher average aggressive behaviors when parents had greater disagreement in reports (β=.16, p=.00). Married parents were both more concordant in scores (t=2.66, p=.01) and reported that their children had fewer aggressive behaviors (t=2.29, p=.02). While both maternal and paternal depression independently predicted higher reports of child aggression for both moms (β=.31, p=.00) and dads (β=.21, p=.00), only maternal depression predicted less concordance between parents (β=.09, p=.03).Results are discussed in the context of these behaviors as early risk marks of childhood psychopathology and the role that parental reporting plays in assessment and intervention.
Thomaidha Qipo1, Hasti Raveau1, Michael Lopez1, Maxwell Lepora1, Katrina Markowicz,1 Maria Muzik2 & Erika Bocknek1,2
1Wayne State University, 2University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and Depression Center
Abstract: Important information from gene-environment interactions is increasingly utilized to inform parenting research (Francis & Meaney, 1999). Particular genotype variations are implicated in patterns of risk (Thompson et al., 2011). Though abundant research demonstrates the role oxytocin plays in positive-parenting outcomes (Gordon et al., 2010), less is known on oxytocin receptor gene variation in regards to parenting variables. This study examines the OXTR-rs53576, a genotype associated with prosocial behaviors (Tost et al., 2010), in 100 mothers oversampled for histories of interpersonal trauma in the MACY study (PI: Muzik). Mothers completed the Parental Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) to measure their emotional connection to their infants and their overall satisfaction as a mother. Overall results indicated that mothers in the MACY study were likely to experience bonding impairment with their infants (Muzik, Bocknek et al., 2013). However, fewer women without the risk-identified allele variation in rs53576 had impaired bonding with their infants at 6-months postpartum (C2=5.80, p=.02), a critical point in the development of parent-child relationship. Findings suggest possible genotypic capacity for resilience among women at-risk for impairment in parenting. This result is significant because mother-infant bonding is crucial for positive-parenting outcomes and assists in the healthy development of the mother-child relationship. Therefore, by understanding the genetic predetermination of bonding resilience amongst families we can predict successful relationship bonding despite previous trauma. Future research should investigate the role of OXTR variation in other avenues of parenting outcomes.
Hagan A. Risner, Hasti A. Raveau, Katrina Markowicz, Fatin Dubaybo, Stefan Terleckyj, & Erika L. Bocknek
Abstract: This study utilized a novel risk index to explore the impact of employment instability on parenting among low-income fathers. Risk factors consisted of whether the father: worked weekends; earned below poverty level; changed jobs more than twice in recent six months; and obtained less than a high school diploma/GED. Participants included a sample of 181 fathers who participated with their toddlers in the National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP); sample participants include 51% ethno-racial minority families. Results suggest this risk index is a significant predictor of fathers’ supportive behaviors (β=-.17, p<.02) and quality of assistance (β=-.21, p<.01) during play with their 3-year-olds, controlling for child gender and paternal age. Furthermore, child gender moderates analyses such that employment instability predicts less optimal outcomes (stronger effect sizes) among father-daughter dyads. Results demonstrate the role that paternal employment instability can play in the development of the early father-child relationship.