Date of Award

12-17-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert D. Latzman

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher C. Henrich

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa Armistead

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Natasha E. Latzman

Abstract

Individual differences, particularly callous and unemotional (C&U) traits, and parenting practices are some of the strongest predictors of externalizing behavior in adolescents. However, findings on the associations between C&U traits, parenting, and externalizing behaviors have been mixed, with studies often utilizing single scores to represent these multidimensional constructs. The current study used a developmental-contextual framework to examine how dimensions of C&U traits predict aggressive and non-aggressive rule-breaking behaviors through positive and negative parenting practices. The study used archival data from 174 pairs of adolescent males, ages 11-16 years old, and their mothers. Results showed that C&U traits influenced externalizing behaviors through parenting practices. Findings also showed specificities among these relationships. Particularly, the associations between Uncaring and aggressive, as well as non-aggressive rule-breaking, behaviors was mediated by negative parenting, whereas the association between Unemotional and rule-breaking behaviors was mediated by positive parenting practices. Research and clinical implications are discussed.

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