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Parents react to adolescent problem behaviors by worrying more and monitoring less
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7546-2275
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
2008 (English)In: What can parents do?: New insights into the role of parents in adolescent problem behavior / [ed] Margaret Kerr, Håkan Stattin, Rutger C. M. E. Engels, Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons , 2008, p. 89-112Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

 

Although much of the literature on parenting and adolescent problem behavior has looked at parents as causal agents, there is a growing awareness that parenting is partly a reaction to problem behavior, as well as an action. In this study, we try to understand parents’ reactions to delinquency and the secretive, defiant behavior toward parents that correlates with delinquency. We use longitudinal data over two years from about 1100 adolescents aged 10 to 14 years. Most measures are parents’ reports; delinquency is youth-reported. The results suggest that youths’ behaviors influence parenting more than parenting influences youth behaviors. Parents seem to react to negative behavior at home more than to the delinquency itself. They react emotionally with distrust and worries, and at the same time, they slacken their monitoring efforts. Their emotional reactions seem to be part of an escalation in youth delinquency, whereas monitoring efforts do not. These findings could have implications for experimental studies of parenting adolescents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons , 2008. p. 89-112
Series
Hot topics in developmental research
Keyword [en]
Parental monitoring, adolescent, development, problem behavior, delinquency, parenting
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2910DOI: 10.1002/9780470774113.ch4ISBN: 978-0-470-72363-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-2910DiVA, id: diva2:135488
Note
Peer reviewedAvailable from: 2008-02-18 Created: 2008-02-18 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Harsh or inept parenting, youth characteristics and later adjustment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Harsh or inept parenting, youth characteristics and later adjustment
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite most parents’ good intentions to provide a warm, supportive environment in which the child can grow and develop socially appropriate behavior, they might occasionally act toward their child in a negative or even harsh way. Some do this more consistently than others. This dissertation examined the relationships between harsh or inept parenting and children’s characteristics in predicting various adjustment problems. The first aim of the dissertation was to examine if experienced harsh parental behavior is associated with adjustment problems for children from different cultures in a similar way. Study I showed that the effects of harsh parenting were very similar for children from different countries, but the magnitude of these effects differed. The second aim was to examine how parents and youths respond to each other over time. Studies II and III showed that youth characteristics influenced harsh or inept parenting and, to a lesser extent, parents’ behaviors could affect youth characteristics or behavior problems. The third aim of this dissertation concerns the role of child or youth characteristics in the link between harsh parenting and adjustment problems. Findings from Study II suggested that, youth characteristics might be responsible for both harsh parenting and problematic peer relationships, thus explaining the link between them. Studies IV and V showed that children’s early unmanageability increased the risk of having more adjustment problems later in life only for some children. The fourth aim was to examine how the early characteristics of children who experience physical punishment in the context of parenting behaviors that communicate negative emotions affect later adjustment. The findings from Studies IV and V suggest that only for some children, those who experience certain combinations of harsh parental behavior, is early unmanageability a risk factor for social adjustment problems. Overall, the studies in this dissertation provide insights into the roles of harsh or inept parenting and youth characteristics in the development of various adjustment problems. Even though parents’ negative behaviors may affect youth social adjustment, youth characteristics and behaviors can strongly contribute to their own adjustment and to harsh or inept parenting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2008. p. 89
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 13
Keyword
adolescent adjustment, harsh parenting, inept parenting, reciprocal interactions, youth characteristics, early unmanageability
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-1796 (URN)978-91-7668-587-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-03-14, Hörsal 2, Långhuset, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-02-18 Created: 2008-02-18 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Kerr, MargaretStattin, HåkanPakalniskiene, Vilmante

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