Mother-Adolescent conflict in African American and European American families: The role of corporal punishment, adolescent aggression, and adolescents' hostile attributions of mothers' intent

Carol MacKinnon-Lewis, Eric W. Lindsey, James M. Frabutt, Jessica Campbell Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined mothers' use of corporal punishment and adolescents' aggression as predictors of mother-youth conflict during early adolescence. Particular attention was given to the potential mediating role that adolescents' hostile attributions of intent (HAI) regarding mothers' behavior might play in connections between corporal punishment, youth aggression, and mother-adolescent conflict for European American (EA) and African American (AA) youth. Data were collected from 268 12- to 14-year-olds (154 European American; 114 African American; 133 girls; 135 boys) and their mothers over a period of 2 years. Questionnaires completed by both mothers and adolescents were used to assess maternal corporal punishment and adolescent aggression, and interviews concerning hypothetical situations were used to assess adolescent HAI in year one. In both year one and year two mother-adolescent conflict was observed in a laboratory interaction session. Data revealed that adolescent HAI mediated the link between maternal corporal punishment and mother-adolescent conflict for EA, but not AA youth. Adolescents' HAI mediated the link between adolescent aggression and mother-adolescent conflict for both EA and AA families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-861
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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