Methods: Rural white youth and their families were followed from adolescence to adulthood. G1 harsh parenting, substance use, aggression, and depression were measured when G2 (n=150) were 15, 16, and 18 years old. The same behaviors were assessed for G2 during adulthood when G3 were 6-9 years old. G3 aggression was assessed at 10-12 years old. G1 and G2 reported the number of days in the past month they drank alcohol, used tobacco, or used illegal substances. G1 and G2 reported their aggression and depressive symptoms (SCL90) and G2 reported on G3 aggressive behavior (CBCL). Observations of harsh parenting were used to assess continuities between G1 behavior toward G2 and G2 behavior toward G3.
Results: The results indicated support for the intergenerational transmission of G1 to G2 harsh parenting, substance use, aggression, and depression. Once these paths were taken into account, cross lagged paths were not supported. In addition, G2 harsh parenting and adult substance use, aggression, and depression were all related to G3 aggression.
Conclusions: Understanding intergenerational influences may help enhance prevention and intervention to reduce substance use, delinquent behavior, and depressive symptoms, which may in turn contribute to the behavior of the subsequent generation.