Parenting style and adolescent's reaction to conflict: is there a relationship?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William N. Dudley, Professor Public Health Education (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose: To determine if the reactions of adolescents toward hypothetical situations that can lead to conflict and violence varied by parenting style of their mothers. Methods: This study was part of a larger research project involving adolescents and their mothers participating in a longitudinal HIV-prevention program. Mothers and their adolescents were recruited from a community-based organization (CBO) and interviewed separately. Data were analyzed using the responses of 439 African-American adolescents ranging from ages 11 to 14 years. The responses of adolescents to questions about parenting were used to classify mothers into one of three parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, or permissive. The “anticipated reactions to hypothetical situations” scale consists of 11 items with 6 response categories. The six responses were reclassified into three categories ranging from “not at all violent” to “extremely violent.” Higher scores indicate more violent reactions to the hypothetical situations. The parenting scale consists of two subscales: a 13-item parental involvement scale and a 13-item parental control scale. Items were rated on a 5-point Likert scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Analysis of variance was used to determine if the anticipated reactions of adolescents toward hypothetical situations varied by parenting style of their mothers. Results: Adolescent participants who reported a more permissive parenting style expressed more intense negative reactions toward the hypothetical situations that can provoke conflict. Male adolescents also expressed more intense reactions than females to the situations. There was no difference in intensity of reaction by age after controlling for gender and parenting style. Conclusions: Parenting style is associated with adolescents’ reactions to hypothetical situations that can provoke conflict. This finding highlights the importance of considering parents and their approach to child-rearing as a factor in the adolescent’s ability to react to conflict.

Additional Information

Journal of adolescent health, 31(6), 463-8
Language: English
Date: 2002
Adolescence, Conflict, Gender differences, Parenting style, Violence

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