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Dev Psychol. 2006 Mar;42(2):305-18.

Parenting and adolescent problem behavior: an integrated model with adolescent self-disclosure and perceived parental knowledge as intervening variables.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Parental monitoring, assessed as (perceived) parental knowledge of the child's behavior, has been established as a consistent predictor of problem behavior. However, recent research indicates that parental knowledge has more to do with adolescents' self-disclosure than with parents' active monitoring. Although these findings may suggest that parents exert little influence on adolescents' problem behavior, the authors argue that this conclusion is premature, because self-disclosure may in itself be influenced by parents' rearing style. This study (a) examined relations between parenting dimensions and self-disclosure and (b) compared 3 models describing the relations among parenting, self-disclosure, perceived parental knowledge, and problem behavior. Results in a sample of 10th- to 12th-grade students, their parents, and their peers demonstrated that high responsiveness, high behavioral control, and low psychological control are independent predictors of self-disclosure. In addition, structural equation modeling analyses demonstrated that parenting is both indirectly (through self-disclosure) and directly associated with perceived parental knowledge but is not directly related to problem behavior or affiliation with peers engaging in problem behavior.

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