Development and Lability in the Parent-Child Relationship During Adolescence: Associations With Pubertal Timing and Tempo

Kristine Marceau, Nilam Ram, Elizabeth J. Susman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Adolescents' and parents' reactions to pubertal development are hypothesized to contribute to changes in family dynamics. Using 7-year longitudinal data from the NICHD-SECCYD (488 boys, 475 girls), we examined relations between pubertal development (timing, tempo) and trajectories (developmental change and year-to-year lability) of parent-child conflict and closeness from age 8.5 to 15.5 years. Changes were mostly characterized by year-to-year fluctuations-lability. Parent-child conflict increased and closeness decreased some with age. Pubertal timing and tempo were more consistently associated with lability in parent-child relationships than with long-term trends, although faster tempo was associated with steeper decreases in parent-child closeness. Findings provide a platform for examining how puberty contributes to both long-term and transient changes in adolescents' relationships and adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-489
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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