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Parenting Behavior and Adolescent Conduct Problems: Reciprocal and Mediational Effects

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Dated: 2008 Pages: 3-25
Bruce Simmons-Morton; Rusan Chen; Laura Shaffer Hand; Denise L. Haynie
Date Published
23 pages
This study examined the relationship between parenting practices and adolescent conduct problems in the mediation of these relationships by two parent-adolescent relationship variables, conflicts and psychological autonomy.
The conclusions indicate that bidirectional relationships between parenting practices and adolescent conduct problems were observed, but these relationships were not consistent. Parenting practices were negatively associated with adolescent conduct problems over time. A partial mediation by psychological autonomy of the relationship between adolescent conduct problems and parent monitoring, but not between adolescent conduct problems and parent knowledge provides support for the hypothesis that parent knowledge may be independently associated with adolescent behavior because it takes into account aspects of the parent-adolescent relationship. Ultimately the findings are consistent with the broader concept that the effects of parenting practices on adolescent behavior depend, at least in part, on the context of the parent-adolescent relationship. The sample consisted of 2,969 students (72 percent White, 18 percent Black, and 10 percent other) from 7 middle schools in 1 Maryland school district; 3 were included in the treatment and 4 were included in the comparison control condition. Starting with the 1996 school year, two successive cohorts of sixth graders were recruited and surveyed. Students in the treatment schools were exposed to a classroom curriculum, “Going Places Problem Behavior Prevention Program,” designed to increase social skills and prevent substance use and other problem behaviors. Participants were assessed on measures regarding parent monitoring, parent knowledge, adolescent psychological autonomy, parent-adolescent conflict, and adolescent conduct problems. Tables, figures, references