A fascinating article that no one will ever actually read: Parenting Behaviors Associated With Risk For Offspring Personality Disorder During Adulthood.
The authors made a (startling) discovery: there are types of parenting behaviors which predispose your kid to growing up personality disordered.i
This was a longitudinal study of 592 families, first assessed when the kids were about 5, and then again when they were in their 30s. (More info at their website http://nyspi.org/childcom/ii)
The results are pretty much what you'd expect:
The more of these behaviors the parents exhibited, the more the risk of PD increased. What is interesting is which PD was increased given the number of parental behaviors:
First, overall number of bad parental behaviors:
(antisocial=criminal; avoidant=shy; narcissistic=self-absorbed)
You'll notice that antisocial PD is essentially zero at baseline, and is dramatically sensitive to bad parenting. Contrast this withiii avoidant PD, which, while also sensitive to the parenting, starts out higher at baseline. In other words, you may be born shy, but not antisocial.
Looking at specific types of bad parenting:
What you'll see in the top figure is that being an aversive parent is a great way of making someone borderline or passive-aggressive, not to mention paranoid. But it doesn't make them antisocial. Hmm.
Meanwhile, having low affection or low nurturing scores increased the risk for antisocial, as well as everything else (but especially avoidant, paranoid, depressive, borderline).
Some covariate caveats: even when parental psycha
itric disorders and offspring behavioral problems at age 6 were controlled, bad parenting was still associatd with increased risk of their kids' PD.
Furthermore, the usual association of parental psychiatric disorder leading to child PD could be explained, in fact, 95% due to the bad parenting. Another way of saying this is that 95% of the effect that a parental psychiatric disorder has on causing their kids' personality disorder can be obviated by better parenting. In a similar vein, 35% of the effect of childhood behavioral problems leading to later PD can be similarly reduced by better parenting. In other words, even if you or your kids have a "biological" psychiatric disorder, better parenting skills can
darmiadramatically affect the outcome.
It is not an insignificant fact that only one of the 5 authors was an MD (oddly, he is also a PhD but does not list this in the authorship lineiv.). The nature vs. nurture debate in psychiatry is all but dead.
The longer we delude ourselves that biology controls behavior, and not the other way around, the longer we'll have to live with the same behaviors.———
- The authors made no such discovery. The authors took a remarkably tiny sample, which is necessarily biased by its insignificant minuscularity, then they fit some psycho-socio-politico-economical & religio-cultural narrative upon it. It is pointless to protest that "oh no, they didn't 'set out' to do such a thing or they weren't consciously doing it or any such idiocy : out of ten billion people now alive, ten quadrillion people historically alive and untold bazillion bijillions people theoretically possible you can make a... relatively large number, let's say, of such "studies" on sets of a few hundred at a time. Only some of which ever get published -- in this case, this one -- through a selection process. Geddit ?
If you attempted to give an account of "what literature is possible" through the process of reading three words at a time out of whatever newspapers you can get your grubby paws on you'd be producing "literary criticism" of the exact caliber of this here "science" ; or, in other words, the fact that you don't know what you're doing doesn't excuse you from having done it, the world's not something that happens by your approval nor does it require your explicit acquiescence. [↩]
- Which is meanwhile, of course, stone-cold dead. [↩]
- The ever-present dream of building dat city on the hill, truebelievin' socialism's ever-bread&butter. Here's the thing : humans, like all live things, are not fucking stable. They're meta-stable, which isn't at all the same thing ; they contain, under the water, a lot of mechanisms that never get to be exposed -- but would have been exposed in different circumstances. The fact that kids behave so-and-so in this-and-here context doesn't mean anything about anything, should parenting "improve" according to whatever psycho-socio-politico-economical & religio-cultural narrative the children would simply expose a different tip of the immense iceberg of phenotypical possibility included in genetic diversity, and as a result... the same exact types would manifest, because the situation is meta-stable over breathtaking breaths of chasmic width that scare the mind -- I don't mean these numbnuts "scientists" hare brains, I mean the actual mind, familiar with and capable of 1e80 jumps -- and as such it is entirely impervious to piddly fiddling with samples of a hundred or three at a time.
This isn't to say that meaningful science can't be produced upon human behaviour ; but much like "neuropsychology" is the exact equivalent of trying to debug assembly code by use of a spot thermometer upon the processor, this sort of behaviourist psychology is directly the attempt to understand internal combustion engines by reviewing automated registration plate photos a dozen at a time. The meaningful "longitudinal study" would span literal trillions of individuals over tens of thousands of years at the very least, and it would require a lot more detail than the dozen kilobytes per case a generous estimate allows here. Under 1e24 or so bytes of data per study no attempt at psychology can possibly be anything but pretentious gossip. [↩]
- By now "epidemiology" as a pseudo-scientific "qualification" has come to signify just about what the older term полити[ческий]рук[оводитель] did, huh. [↩]