Naturally-occurring declines in antisocial behavior from ages 4 to 12 : relations with parental sensitivity and psychological processes in children
MetadataShow full item record
Although common in toddlerhood, for most children, antisocial behavior declines with age. The current study examined whether changes in maternal sensitivity, children's social skills, emotion regulation, and hostile attributions account for these declines. Data from 1022 participants, (52% female; 87% Caucasian) from the NICHD SECCYD were examined from 54 months through 6th grade. Analyses revealed that increases in sensitivity, social skills, and emotion regulation predicted decreases in antisocial behavior. Increases in sensitivity predicted declines because they promoted social skills and emotion regulation. Decreases in antisocial behavior predicted subsequent increases in sensitivity, children's social skills, emotion regulation, and decreases in hostile attributions. Increasing sensitivity, children's social skills, and emotion regulation, appear to be critical factors for naturally-occurring declines in antisocial behavior.