The first study, titled “Maternal irritability and aggressive behavior in family context “, aims to extend actual knowledge on the relation between mother Irritability trait and mother aggressive discipline toward her child. It examined the construct validity of the reduced version of Irritability Scale (Caprara et al., 1985) on 200 mother-child dyads from two family Italian context: Rome and Naples. The first part of the study 1 presents the construct of irritability trait and its relation with aggressive behaviors, it continues by reviewing the main theoretical models for the development of aggressive behavior [Frustration-Aggression Theory (Dollard et al., 1939); Cognitive Neo-Association Theory (Berkowitz, 1989); Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1971)] and it concludes with a review of studies (experimental, correlational and in familiar contexts) on the relationship between irritability, aggressive behaviors and harsh parenting measures. The empirical part of the study, first analyzes the internal validity of Irritability Scale (Caprara et al., 1985) in family contexts: it confirms mono-factorial structure and reveals partial invariance between samples. Then, adopting a multi-informant approach, the study confirms construct validity, showing positive associations among maternal irritability and mother’s physical aggression, verbal aggression, and hostility-rejection. The second study, titled “Trait and state variance of mother’s irritability and mother’s harsh parenting in two italian samples”, is a longitudinal study that aims to estimate the effects of situation and trait on irritability and to examine the relation between mother’s irritability and her harsh parenting over time (four time-points). The first part of the study 2 presents the Latent State-Trait Theory (Steyer, Ferring, & Schmitt, 1992; Steyer, Schmitt, & Eid, 1999), on which is based the study. The empirical part of the study, preliminarily analyzes the factor structure of the Irritability Scale in both Italian sample (i.e., Naples and Rome) and at each wave: the results confirm mono-factorial structure of the scale. Then, it analyzes latent state-trait of irritability: the results indicate that each single indicator contained more trait than situation influence. Finally, it examines a conditional latent-state model: the results reveal that mother trait irritability component had a statistically significant effect in predicting later harsh parenting, above and beyond the effects of the occasion-specific situation. The third study, titled “Mother personality and child temperament as predictors of externalizing behavior problem trajectory from age 12 to age 14”, is a longitudinal study that explorer the joint contribution of parents’ personality characteristics (irritability) and children’s temperament (inhibitory control) to the development of children’s externalizing problems. The first part of the study 3 presents the ecological theoretical models of child development (e.g., Belsky, 1984; Bronfenbrenner, 1986), on which is based the study and examines the relationship between the child's externalizing behaviors, temperament of the child and mother's personality. The empirical part of the study identifies, using multilevel modeling (MLM), trajectory of adolescents’ externalizing behavior problems, including mother’s irritability and inhibitory control as predictors. The results indicate that higher levels of mothers' irritability predicted higher levels of externalizing behaviors over time and the inhibitory control moderates this relation.
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