Parenting Practices and Aggression in Childhood Behaviour Disorders
Objective: To determine the association between parenting practices and aggression in children with behaviour disorders.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Children Hospital and Institute of Child Health, Lahore Pakistan, from Nov 2020 to Jan 2021.
Methodology: Parents of children and eighty-five children between the ages of 3 to 12 years with the diagnosis of behaviour disorders (autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, social communication disorder) and showing aggressive behaviour were enrolled. The multidimensional assessment of parenting scale was used to assess positive(proactive parenting, positive reinforcement, warmth and supportiveness) and negative (hostility, lax control, physical control) parenting practices. The modified overt aggression scale was used to assess aggression, including verbal aggression,aggression against property, auto-aggression (towards self), and physical aggression (towards others). Correlation and multiple regression analysis were done.
Results: Among negative practices, it was found that leniency and inconsistent parenting (lax control) was significant positive predictor of aggression (p<0.01) in children with behaviour disorders. Supportiveness was a significant negative predictor of verbal aggression (p<0.01), while physical control positively predicted total aggression (p<0.05). Among positive parenting practices, positive reinforcement decreased auto aggression (p<0.05) in children with behaviour disorders. Lower maternal education correlated with more aggressive behaviours (p<0.05) in these children.
Conclusion: Negative parenting practices may lead to aggression in children with behaviour disorders. While positive reinforcement by parents may encourage less self-harm in these children and help improve their behaviour problems.