Testing causal models of the relationship between childhood gender atypical behaviour and parent-child relationship

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Alanko K, Santtila P, Salo B, Jern P, Johansson A, Sandnabba NK
Publication year: 2011
Journal: British Journal of Developmental Psychology
Journal acronym: Br J Dev Psychol
Volume number: 29
Issue number: 2
Start page: 214
End page: 233
ISSN: 0261-510X


An association between childhood gender atypical behaviour (GAB) and a negative parent-child relationship has been demonstrated in several studies, yet the causal relationship of this association is not fully understood. In the present study, different models of causation between childhood GAB and parent-child relationships were tested. Direction of causation modelling was applied to twin data from a population-based sample (n= 2,565) of Finnish 33- to 43-year-old twins. Participants completed retrospective self-report questionnaires. Five different models of causation were then fitted to the data: GAB → parent-child relationship, parent-child relationship → GAB, reciprocal causation, a bivariate genetic model, and a model assuming no correlation. It was found that a model in which GAB and quality of mother-child, and father-child relationship reciprocally affect each other best fitted the data. The findings are discussed in light of how we should understand, including causality, the association between GAB and parent-child relationship.

Last updated on 2020-05-08 at 08:00