Interparental aggression and antisocial behavior among African American youth: a simultaneous test of competing explanations.

Abstract

Interparental aggression has long been implicated as a cause of child and adolescent antisocial behavior. Four theoretical explanations (viz., an aggressogenic cognition model, general strain theory, an emotional security model, and a spillover model) have been proposed to account for this deleterious effect. To gain a better understanding of the mechanism whereby interparental aggression promotes antisocial behavior, this study tests the competing explanations simultaneously using longitudinal data from a sample of 508 African American families with a child aged 12-14 (53.5% are girls). Using path analysis, the results support both the general strain theory and the emotional security model for girls. The results also show weak support for the spillover model. Whereas, for boys, all of the four explanations were supported, though the support for the spillover model is weak. Thus, the findings suggest that the mechanisms whereby interparental aggression fosters antisocial behavior may differ by gender. Implications and limitations of the current research are discussed.

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-011-9673-3

Cite this paper

@article{Su2011InterparentalAA, title={Interparental aggression and antisocial behavior among African American youth: a simultaneous test of competing explanations.}, author={Xiaoli Su and Ronald L. Simons and Leslie Gordon Simons}, journal={Journal of youth and adolescence}, year={2011}, volume={40 11}, pages={1489-502} }