Abusive home environments as predictors of poor adjustment during adolescence and early adulthood


Unskilled discipline practices form the basis for three abusive elements that occur in the home environment: child maltreatment, neglectful supervision, and sibling conflict. Furthermore, we hypothesized that in the context of unskilled discipline, the abusive home environment variables would be predictive of a variety of adjustment outcomes as children moved into adolescence and early adulthood. We examined concurrent and longitudinal data for 182 Oregon Youth Study (OYS) boys across a variety of developmental outcomes over a 10-year span. Multiple agent and method assessments of the boys, their siblings, and parents included direct observations, interviews, and questionnaires. Path analyses revealed that the consequences of each abusive home environment construct were, with little exception, consistent with the hypotheses. Thus, the enduring and powerful impact of an abusive home environment is apparent. This work also supports the idea of a continuum of parenting behaviors and a parenting skills deficit model across all families, rather than a "bad parent" versus "good parent" model. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Community Psychology