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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health