The Role of Harsh Discipline in Explaining Sex Differences in Conduct Disorder: a Study of Opposite-Sex Twin Pairs

Madeline H. Meier, Wendy S. Slutske, Andrew C. Heath and Nicholas G. Martin (2009) The Role of Harsh Discipline in Explaining Sex Differences in Conduct Disorder: a Study of Opposite-Sex Twin Pairs. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37 5: 653-664. doi:10.1007/s10802-009-9309-1


Author Madeline H. Meier
Wendy S. Slutske
Andrew C. Heath
Nicholas G. Martin
Title The Role of Harsh Discipline in Explaining Sex Differences in Conduct Disorder: a Study of Opposite-Sex Twin Pairs
Formatted title
The Role of Harsh Discipline in Explaining Sex Differences in Conduct Disorder: a Study of Opposite-Sex Twin Pairs
Journal name Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-0627
Publication date 2009-03-11
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10802-009-9309-1
Volume 37
Issue 5
Start page 653
End page 664
Total pages 12
Editor John E Lochman
Place of publication United States
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
Abstract Abstract In the current study, two hypotheses about the role of harsh discipline (HD) in explaining the sex difference in the prevalence of conduct disorder (CD) were evaluated: that boys exhibit more CD than girls because (1) they are exposed to more HD and/or (2) there is a greater association between HD and CD in boys. These hypotheses were evaluated in a sample of male and female adult twins from different families (N = 3,502) as well as a sample of adult twin brothers and sisters (N = 655) in order to examine the extent to which sex differences remained after controlling for between-family differences. Retrospective reports of HD experienced between ages 6–13 and DSM-IV CD symptoms experienced before age 18 were obtained via structured psychiatric telephone interviews. Boys reported higher mean levels of HD and CD than girls, both between and within families, and the results of model-fitting analyses suggested that differences in the use of harsh disciplinary practices for sons versus daughters may partially explain the sex difference in the prevalence of CD. Between families, the relation between HD and CD was greater for girls than boys, but within families, there was no evidence of a sex difference in the relation between HD and CD. Inconsistent between-family and within-family results suggest that factors that differ between families are confounded with sex differences in the relation between HD and CD. A more stringent test of sex differences involves eliminating these between-family differences by studying boys and girls within the same family.
Formatted abstract
Abstract In the current study, two hypotheses about the role of harsh discipline (HD) in explaining the sex difference in the prevalence of conduct disorder (CD) were evaluated: that boys exhibit more CD than girls because (1) they are exposed to more HD and/or (2) there is a greater association between HD and CD in boys. These hypotheses were evaluated in a sample of male and female adult twins from different families (N = 3,502) as well as a sample of adult twin brothers and sisters (N = 655) in order to examine the extent to which sex differences remained after controlling for between-family differences. Retrospective reports of HD experienced between ages 6–13 and DSM-IV CD symptoms experienced before age 18 were obtained via structured psychiatric telephone interviews. Boys reported higher mean levels of HD and CD than girls, both between and within families, and the results of model-fitting analyses suggested that differences in the use of harsh disciplinary practices for sons versus daughters may partially explain the sex difference in the prevalence of CD. Between families, the relation between HD and CD was greater for girls than boys, but within families, there was no evidence of a sex difference in the relation between HD and CD. Inconsistent between-family and within-family results suggest that factors that differ between families are confounded with sex differences in the relation between HD and CD. A more stringent test of sex differences involves eliminating these between-family differences by studying boys and girls within the same family.
Keyword Conduct disorder
Sex differences
Harsh discipline
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 24 Mar 2010, 20:14:40 EST by Amanda Jones on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital