The relation between adolescent negative adjustment and differences in parent - child ratings of parents' warmth and negativity was examined with a national sample of 720 families. It was predicted that perceptual differences (PDs) would be linked to more negative adjustment. Adjustment was regressed on PDs, which were calculated as absolute differences between parent and child ratings of parenting. Results showed that PDs were significantly associated with adjustment independent of the level of parenting behavior. Associations differed by gender for PDs over maternal verbal aggression. Some of the most important results were curvilinear effects indicating that both high and low, but not medium, levels of PDs are linked with maladjustment. Finally, differences between younger and older adolescents were found: The linear relationship between PDs over parental negativity and maladjustment disappeared for older adolescents.
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