Parenting influences on adolescent risky behaviors : how much do parents matter?

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Beth Moussa (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kia Asberg

Abstract: This study utilized retrospective reports from a sample of college students and their primary care giver during childhood to examine the interplay among parent and adolescent personality, parent psychopathology, parenting behaviors, and adolescent outcomes, specifically substance use and risky sexual behavior. It was hypothesized that positive parent and adolescent personality traits, low levels of parent psychopathology, and high levels of warmth and demandingness, would reduce the severity of adolescent outcomes of substance use and risky sexual behaviors. Multiple linear regression analyses resulted in a significant equation to predict risky sexual behavior (F (15,127) = 2.26, p < .012), with an R2 of .198. Significant predictors of risky sexual behavior included permissive parenting style, parent internalizing psychopathology, and adolescent neuroticism. A significant equation was also found to predict substance use (F (15, 125) = 2.26, p < .008), with an R2 of .21. Significant predictors of substance use behaviors included adolescent neuroticism and extraversion. Findings illuminate the influence of personality characteristics in particular, on adolescent behavior. Findings suggest also that parenting variables, specifically parenting style and internalizing psychopathology, are better at predicting risky sexual behavior (i.e., not using contraception) than they are at predicting substance use in emerging adults. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research will be discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
adolescent, behavior, parent, risky
Parent and teenager
Personality in adolescence
Risk-taking (Psychology) in adolescence
Teenagers -- Sexual behavior
Teenagers -- Substance use
Adolescent psychology
Teenagers -- Family relationships

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