Parenting and Child Personality, Relations with Reactive and Proactive Aggression in Children
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The current study extends previous research by focusing on main and interactive effects of parenting and child personality on more specific externalizing problems, namely childhood reactive and proactive aggression. The sample consisted of 137 4th grade children at risk for developing externalizing behavior problems. Parents (mothers n = 127, fathers n = 79) reported on quality of parent-child relationship, exhibited positive and negative control and childhood aggression. Teachers (n = 50) reported on child Big Five personality traits. Multiple regression analyses revealed that a warm, affective relationship with both parents is related to less reactive aggression. In addition, a warm affective relationship with mother and high levels of paternal positive control were associated with less proactive aggression. Furthermore, low levels of child extraversion and high levels of child emotional stability were associated with proactive aggression. No interactive effects of child personality and parenting on child aggression were found. The results suggest that it is necessary to differentiate between subtypes of aggression and paternal and maternal parenting when targeting childhood aggression.