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The Limits of Child Effects: Evidence for Genetically Mediated ChildEffects on Corporal Punishment but Not on Physical MaltreatmentSara R. JaffeeUniversity of Pennsylvania and Institute of Psychiatry, King’sCollege LondonAvshalom Caspi and Terrie E. MoffittInstitute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and Universityof Wisconsin—MadisonMonica Polo-TomasInstitute of Psychiatry, King’s College LondonThomas S. PriceWellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford UniversityAlan TaylorInstitute of Psychiatry, King’s College LondonResearch on child effects has demonstrated that children’s difficult and coercive behavior provokes harshdiscipline from adults. Using a genetically sensitive design, the authors tested the limits of child effectson adult behavior that ranged from the normative (corporal punishment) to the nonnormative (physicalmaltreatment). The sample was a 1994–1995 nationally representative birth cohort of 1,116 twins andtheir families who participated in the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Study. Results showed thatenvironmental factors accounted for most of the variation in corporal punishment and physical maltreat-ment. However, corporal punishment was genetically mediated in part, and the genetic factors thatinfluenced corporal punishment were largely the same as those that influenced children’s antisocialbehavior, suggesting a child effect. The authors conclude that risk factors for maltreatment are less likelyto reside within the child and more likely to reside in characteristics that differ between families.For much of the last century, research on parent disciplinarypractices has described how parents influence their children’sdevelopment but has failed to consider how children’s behaviormight simultaneously influence the nature of their interactionswith parents. Only in the past 30 years have researchers begun toexplore the bidirectional nature of parent–child relations and con-cluded that much of what parents do is a response to children’sbehavior (e.g., Anderson, Lytton, & Romney, 1986; Bell & Chap-man, 1986; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; O’Connor, 2002; Patterson,Reid, & Dishion, 1992). More recently still, some behavioralgeneticists have questioned whether parents have any influence ontheir children’s behavior beyond that which is transmitted genet-ically (Harris, 1998; Rowe, 1994). This article asks the following