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Parental history of positive development and child behavior in next generation offspring: A two-cohort prospective intergenerational study

This study examined whether positive development (PD) in adolescence and young adulthood predicts offspring behavior in two Australasian intergenerational cohorts. The Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 Study assessed PD at age 19–28 (years 2002–2010) and behavior in 1165 infants (12–18 months; 608 girls) of 694 Australian-born parents (age 29–35; 2012–2019; 399 mothers). The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Parenting Study assessed PD at age 15–18 (years 1987–1991) and behavior in 695 preschoolers (3–5 years; 349 girls) and their New Zealand born parents (age 21–46; 1994–2018; 363 mothers; 89% European ethnicity). In both cohorts, PD before parenthood predicted more positive offspring behavior (βrange =.11–.16) and fewer behavior problems (βrange = −.09 to −.11). Promoting strengths may secure a healthy start to life.

History

Journal

Child Development

ISSN

0009-3920

eISSN

1467-8624