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

K Alanko, Pekka Santtila, Benny Salo, Patrik Jern, A Johansson, Kenneth Sandnabba

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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.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)214–233
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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