Temperament, environment, and antisocial behavior in a population sample of preadolescent boys and girls
Antisocial behavior can be triggered by negative social experiences and individuals’ processing of these experiences. This study focuses on risk-buffering interactions between temperament, perceived parenting, socio-economic status (SES), and sex in relation to antisocial behavior in a Dutch population sample of preadolescents (N=2230). Perceived parenting (overprotection, rejection, emotional warmth) was assessed by the EMBU (a Swedish acronym for My Memories of Upbringing) for Children, temperament (effortful control and frustration) by the parent version of the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire-Revised, SES by information on parental education, occupation, and income, and antisocial behavior by the Child Behavior Checklist (parent report) and the Youth Self-Report (child report). All parenting and temperament factors were significantly associated with antisocial behavior. The strongest risk-buffering interactions were found for SES which was only related to antisocial behavior among children with a low level of effortful control or a high level of frustration. Furthermore, the associations of SES with antisocial behavior were more negative for boys than for girls. Thus, the effects of SES depend on both the temperament and sex of the child.