Author(s): Blackson TC, Tarter RE, Mezzich AC
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Abstract We conducted this study with a sample of sons of fathers having a Psychoactive Substance Use Disorder (PSUD+, n = 55) and sons of fathers who did not qualify for a PSUD (PSUD-, n = 97). Parental discipline practice from the child's perspective was investigated in relation to the child's difficult temperament to determine their association with sons' externalizing and internalizing behavior problems reported by mothers. PSUD+ status, difficult temperament in the boys, and their ratings of parental discipline practices accounted for a significant proportion of variance with respect to their externalizing behavior (11\%), but only PSUD+ status had a main effect on internalizing behavior. However, the main finding of this study was that the interaction of parental discipline and difficult temperament in the child moderated both externalizing and internalizing behavior problems, accounting for an additional 5\% of an explained variance. Thus, this study illustrates the importance of the conjoint influence of children's temperament characteristics and parental discipline practices on the children's adjustment. These results support the findings from previous studies showing that a difficult temperament disposition places the child at risk for maltreatment by parents and for development of a disruptive behavior disorder. Both outcomes have been found in many investigations to presage alcohol and drug abuse in adolescence. The findings also underscore the importance of both individual and contextual variables for understanding the development of psychopathology. In this regard, the results show the need for prevention and treatment to encompass strategies directed at disaggregating the basis of maladaptive family interaction patterns.
This article was published in Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy