Parents Do Matter: Trajectories of Change in Externalizing and Internalizing Problems in Early Adolescence

Nancy L. Galambos, Erin T. Barker, David M. Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

332 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the relative influence of three parenting behaviors (support, behavioral control, and psychological control) and deviant peers on trajectories of externalizing and internalizing problems in early adolescence. A white, working-to-middle-class sample of adolescents and their mothers and fathers in two-earner families participated in a 3 1/2year longitudinal study (N=109 families). The study began when the adolescents were in sixth grade (M age=11.5 years). Analyses showed that parents' firm behavioral control seemed to halt the upward trajectory in externalizing problems among adolescents with deviant peers. Initial levels of internalizing problems were higher among adolescents with parents who reported lower levels of behavioral control and among adolescents with deviant peers. This study suggests that parenting exerts an important influence in adolescents' lives and may do so even in the face of potentially negative peer influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-594
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Volume74
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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