Genetic vulnerability interacts with parenting and early care and education to predict increasing externalizing behavior
The current study examined interactions among genetic influences and children's early environments on the development of externalizing behaviors from 18 months to 6 years of age. Participants included 233 families linked through adoption (birth parents and adoptive families). Genetic influences were assessed by birth parent temperamental regulation. Early environments included both family (overreactive parenting) and out-of-home factors (center-based Early Care and Education; ECE). Overreactive parenting predicted more child externalizing behaviors. Attending center-based ECE was associated with increasing externalizing behaviors only for children with genetic liability for dysregulation. Additionally, children who were at risk for externalizing behaviors due to both genetic variability and exposure to center-based ECE were more sensitive to the effects of overreactive parenting on externalizing behavior than other children. (author abstract)
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