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Aspects of the parent–adolescent relationship and associations with adolescent risk behaviors over time
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. SALVE (Social challenges, Actors, Living conditions, reseach VEnue). University West, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2998-7289
Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8158-0486
2019 (English)In: Journal of family psychology, ISSN 0893-3200, E-ISSN 1939-1293, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 1-11Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Parents’ actions and knowledge of adolescents’ whereabouts play key roles in preventing risk behaviors in early adolescence, but what enables parents to know about their adolescents’ activities and what links there are to adolescent risk behaviors, such as substance use and delinquent behavior, remain unclear. In this study, we investigated whether different aspects of the parent–adolescent relationship predict parental knowledge, and we examined the direct and indirect longitudinal associations between these aspects of the parent–adolescent relationship and adolescents’ self-reported delinquent behavior and substance use. The participants were 550 parents and their adolescent children from two small and two midsized municipalities in Sweden. Parental data were collected when the adolescents were 13 years old (mean), and adolescent data on risk behaviors were collected on two occasions, when they were 13 and 14 years of age (mean). Structural path analyses revealed that adolescent disclosure, parental solicitation, and parental control predicted parental knowledge, with adolescent disclosure being the strongest source of parental knowledge and the strongest negative predictor of adolescent risk behaviors. Parenting competence and adolescents’ connectedness to parents were indirectly, through adolescent disclosure and parental solicitation and parental control, associated with substance use and delinquent behavior. Some paths differed for boys and girls. In conclusion, confident parenting and a close parent–adolescent relationship in which adolescent disclosure is promoted, seem protective of adolescent engagement in risk behaviors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Psychological Association (APA), 2019. Vol. 33, no 1, p. 1-11
Keywords [en]
parent-adolescent relationships, parental knowledge, adolescent disclosure, parenting competence, risk behaviors
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41007DOI: 10.1037/fam0000436ISI: 000457254800001PubMedID: 29999345Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049785735Local ID: PP HHJ 2018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41007DiVA, id: diva2:1233703
Available from: 2018-07-19 Created: 2018-07-19 Last updated: 2019-04-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mutual actions - Developmental links between aspects of the parent-adolescent relationship and adolescent risk behaviors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mutual actions - Developmental links between aspects of the parent-adolescent relationship and adolescent risk behaviors
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Adolescence is a critical time for the onset or intensification of engagement in risk behaviors, such as delinquency and alcohol use. Parents are often advised to supervise adolescents or set rules for behavior control in order to protect their adolescents from harm. But are such parenting strategies advantageous in preventing adolescents from engaging in risk behaviors? Little is known about what role adolescents play in the parent- adolescent relationship and their own psychosocial development? The overall aim of the dissertation was to investigate how parent- and adolescent-driven communication efforts occurring in the parent-adolescent relationship relate to risk behaviors in early to mid- adolescence.

Findings show that adolescent-driven communication efforts (i.e. disclosure about their everyday activities) play a prominent role in the parent-adolescent relationship and adolescent engagement in risk behaviors. Adolescent disclosure is linked to parental knowledge of an adolescent’s whereabouts, parent-adolescent emotional connectedness, and decreases in adolescent risk behaviors over time. While parental behavioral control of adolescent whereabouts can indeed be protective of adolescent engagement in risk behaviors, parents’ soliciting efforts are related to higher levels of engagement in delinquency and substance use. This is particularly true for boys and adolescents with detached and fearless temperament. However, when adolescents are willing to communicate, parents can elicit more disclosure from their adolescents through soliciting efforts.

This dissertation suggests that parents and adolescents both play important roles in parenting and parent-adolescent relationships. Parents can protect their adolescents from engagement in risk behaviors, especially when adolescents share information with their parents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, 2019. p. 111
Series
Hälsohögskolans avhandlingsserie, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 096
Keywords
adolescents, risk behaviors, parent-adolescent relationship, disclosure, communication
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-43445 (URN)978-91-85835-95-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-05-17, Forum Humanum, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-04-10 Created: 2019-04-10 Last updated: 2019-04-10Bibliographically approved

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