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This chapter begins with a definition of children's behaviour problems, and a discussion of their implications and developmental course. The most effective interventions are likely to be based on the findings of well-designed studies of the influence of modifiable risk factors on the development of behaviour problems. It will briefly examine measures and research designs used to try and demonstrate the causal influence of parenting style on the development of behaviour problems. It will briefly review the evidence for Patterson's 'Coercive Family Process' model of parent-child interaction. It will argue that there is good evidence that we need to examine positive interactions, not just discipline skills and conflictual encounters, in order to gain a fuller picture of the parenting influences on children's behaviour problems. Findings from recent studies of parents' involvement in joint play, and their positive strategies for resolving and preventing conflict are discussed. Evidence is accumulating from longitudinal observational studies that these positive interactions play an important role in the development of behaviour problems over time. Implications for intervention are drawn throughout.

Original publication





Book title

Parenting, Schooling and Children's Behaviour

Publication Date



53 - 72