Nurturant-involved parenting and adolescent substance use: Examining an internalizing pathway through adolescent social anxiety symptoms and substance refusal efficacy

Bridget B. Weymouth, Gregory M. Fosco, Mark E. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Research has clearly established the important role of parents in preventing substance use among early adolescents. Much of this work has focused on deviance (e.g., antisocial behavior, delinquency, and oppositional behavior) as a central pathway linking parenting behaviors and early adolescent substance use. This study proposed an alternative pathway; using a four-wave longitudinal design, we examined whether nurturant-involved parenting (Fall sixth grade) was inversely associated with adolescent drunkenness, marijuana use, and cigarette use (eighth grade) through social anxiety symptoms (Spring sixth grade) and subsequent decreases in substance refusal efficacy (seventh grade). Nurturant-involved parenting is characterized by warmth, supportiveness, low hostility, and low rejection. Analyses were conducted with a sample of 687 two-parent families. Results indicated that adolescents who were in families where fathers exhibited lower levels of nurturant-involved parenting experienced subsequent increases in social anxiety symptoms and decreased efficacy to refuse substances, which in turn was related to more frequent drunkenness, cigarette use, and marijuana use. Indirect effects are discussed. Findings were not substantiated for mothers’ parenting. Adolescent gender did not moderate associations. The results highlight an additional pathway through which parenting influences youth substance use and links social anxiety symptoms to reduced substance refusal efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 7 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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