Tara McGee1, Jake Najman3, William Bor3
1Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Brisbane, Australia, 3The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
This study aims to assess antisocial behaviour transmitted across 3 generations, to document the predictors of this intergenerational transmission and to describe how antisocial behaviour is changing over generations.
The Mater-University Study of Pregnancy began as a study of 7223 mother-child pairs of children born at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane from 1981-1984. The mothers (generation one (G1) and their children (G2) have been followed up from the pre-natal period until when the G2 children were 30 years old. The data for this research come from the most recent wave of data collection; the children of the children, or generation three (G3).
Only a minority of G3 respondents who have experienced ASB in their parents (G2) or grandparents (G1) will themselves manifest antisocial behaviour. We propose that ASB will be more common in families with a pattern (in G1 and G2) of marital conflict and/or marital breakdown. There is a causal pathway which links marital instability to specific patterns of parenting (eg. reduced vigilance and supervision of child) which, in turn, is associated with increased levels of antisocial behaviour in offspring (G3). A series of analyses will result in a combined model that will quantify the residual association between marital discord and G3 anti-social behaviour, with potential modification by parenting variables. Appropriate confounders e.g. grandparental/parental age, education, occupation, will be used.
Tara Renae McGee is a developmental and life-course criminologist who’s interested in the development and prevention of antisocial behaviour. She is currently President of ANZSOC and Co-editor of the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology.