The association between childhood gender atypical behavior and adult psychiatric symptoms is moderated by parenting style

Katarina Alanko, Pekka Santtila, N Harlaar, K Witting, M Varjonen, Patrik Jern, A Johansson, von der Pahlen B, Kenneth Sandnabba

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The association between childhood gender atypical behavior (GAB) i. e. behavior traditionally considered more typical for children of the opposite sex, and adult psychiatric symptoms as well as cold or over-controlling parenting style as a moderator of the association were studied in a sample of 1767 Finnish participants aged 33 to 43 years (M = 37.5). Participants completed the Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire, the Brief Symptom Inventory 18, and the Measure of Parenting Style. Regression analyses showed that women recalled more GAB than men did, and that participants who recalled more GAB reported significantly more psychiatric symptoms. Negative parenting style was associated with psychiatric symptoms. Structural equation modeling showed that parenting style significantly moderated the association between childhood GAB and adult psychiatric symptoms with positive parenting reducing the association and negative parenting sustaining it.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)837–847
Number of pages11
JournalSex Roles
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • gender atypical behavior.
  • parenting style
  • psychiatric symptoms

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