Background: Behavioral problems in adolescence have been shown to be associated with the presence of a positive family history of alcoholism (FH+), obstetric complications (OCs), and negative parenting practices. Method: This study tested the relation of these factors to aggression/delinquency and attention problems in an untreated population sample of 154 adolescents in Pomerania. Furthermore, we evaluated the predictive strength of a FH+, OCs and negative parenting styles in a prospective subsample of 127 adolescents using a hierarchical regression analysis. Results: Group comparisons between offspring with higher vs. lower values on aggression/delinquency revealed that only rejection by the parents was significantly more often reported by teenagers with higher measures on these behavioral problems. Offspring with higher values on attention problems had more OCs reported by the mother and also had more feelings of parental rejection compared to controls. The results of the hierarchical regression analysis showed that parental rejection was the only significant predictor for both aggression/delinquency, and attention problems measured 1 year after the initial assessment. Conclusion: We conclude that parental rejection is a major risk factor for both aggression/delinquency and attention problems. Reflecting the fact that these behavioral problems have been reported to be strongly associated with later substance misuse, the improvement of parenting practices should be considered in prevention and intervention programs.

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