Children of opioid-dependent parents: Temperament and psychopathology
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The present study examined the relationship between temperament, parenting style and psychopathology among 127 children (ages 11 to 17 years) of opioid dependent parents in methadone treatment.;The principle hypotheses of the study were that: (1) difficult temperament in children will predict the development of major psychiatric diagnoses, such as major depression, anxiety, conduct, oppositional defiant, and attention deficit with hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), as well as impairment in global functioning. (2) Two basic components of parenting style, namely Care and Control, will moderate the relationship between temperament and psychopathology in these children. Specifically, it was predicted that the interaction of difficult temperament in children with low parental Care and/or high Control will exacerbate the effects of temperament on psychopathology. It was also predicted that the interaction of difficult temperament with high parental Care and/or low Control will buffer the effects of temperament on psychopathology. Child temperament and parenting style were assessed through self-report inventories, administered to both parents and children.;The results of this study indicated that difficult temperament, as rated by the children, significantly predicted all domains of psychopathology assessed, as well as impairment in global functioning. This association was not replicated with parent-ratings of temperament. It was also found that children with easier temperament in low parental Care conditions (as measured by their parents) were more likely to develop major depression, anxiety disorders and ADHD. Research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
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