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Psychol Addict Behav. 2014 Jun;28(2):475-86. doi: 10.1037/a0036824.

Bidirectional effects of parenting and youth substance use during the transition to middle and high school.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Psychology Service, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital.
  • 2Clinical Child Psychology Program, University of Kansas.
  • 3Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee.
  • 4Department of Psychology, University of Alabama.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine.


The current study assessed bidirectional relationships between supportive parenting behaviors (i.e., involvement, positive parenting), parental control strategies (i.e., parental monitoring, effective discipline), and youth substance use in a sample of aggressive youth during the transitions to middle and high school. Participants were drawn from the control group of a larger longitudinal study and were followed from 4th through 9th grade. Cross-lagged developmental models were evaluated using structural equation modeling. Youth substance use at 6th, 7th, and 8th grade influenced positive parenting at 7th, 8th, and 9th grade, but did not influence parental involvement or monitoring at any grade. Parental involvement, monitoring, and positive parenting at earlier grades did not influence youth substance use at later grades. Reciprocal relationships were observed between effective discipline and youth substance use at all grades. Results are consistent with models of bidirectionality that suggest that parents and children adjust their behavior based on the response of the other. Findings may impact our understanding of the development of youth substance use across time and improve interventions designed to reduce this behavior during periods of transition.

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