The associations of maternal warmth and hostility with prosocial and antisocial outcomes in justice-involved adolescents

Erin P. Vaughan, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University.
Paul J. Frick, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University.
James V. Ray, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida.
Emily L. Robertson, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University.
Laura C. Thornton, Louisiana Department of Health.
Tina D. Wall Myers
Laurence Steinberg, Department of Psychology, Temple University.
Elizabeth Cauffman


Parental warmth and hostility are two key dimensions of parenting for child development, but the differential effects of these parenting dimensions on child prosocial and antisocial development has not been adequately investigated. The current study hypothesized that parental warmth would be uniquely related to child callous-unemotional traits and prosocial behavior, whereas parental hostility would be uniquely related to child delinquency and aggression. These hypotheses were investigated in a diverse sample of 1,216 adolescent males (13 to 17 years old, 46% Latino, 37% Black) with justice-system involvement in the 5 years following their first arrest. Hybrid models estimated within- and between-individual associations over time, while controlling for the overlap between parental warmth and hostility and between child prosocial and antisocial outcomes. Results indicated that maternal warmth showed consistent associations with callous-unemotional traits and prosocial behavior over time, whereas maternal hostility showed consistent associations with delinquency and aggression over time. Further, the findings were similar across racial and ethnic groups. Implications for developmental models of antisocial behavior, particularly for those including the role of callous-unemotional traits, are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).