Linking family characteristics with poor peer relations: The mediating role of conduct problems

Karen Linn Bierman, David L. Smoot

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10 Scopus citations


Parent, teacher, and peer ratings were collected for 75 grade school boys to test the hypothesis that certain family interaction patterns would be associated with poor peer relations. Path analyses provided support for a mediational model, in which punitive and ineffective discipline was related to child conduct problems in home and school settings which, in turn, predicted poor peer relations. Further analyses suggested that distinct subgroups of boys could be identified who exhibited conduct problems at home only, at school only, in both settings, or in neither setting. Boys who exhibited cross-situational conduct problems were more likely to experience multiple concurrent problems (e.g., in both home and school settings) and were more likely than any other group to experience poor peer relations. However, only about onethird of the boys with poor peer relations in this sample exhibited problem profiles consistent with the proposed model (e.g., experienced high rates of punitive/ineffective home discipline and exhibited conduct problems in home and school settings), suggesting that the proposed model reflects one common (but not exclusive) pathway to poor peer relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-356
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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