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Child Dev. 1995 Feb;66(1):80-97.

It takes two to replicate: a mediational model for the impact of parents' stress on adolescent adjustment.

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  • 1Iowa State University, USA.


In this study of parental stress and adolescent adjustment, experiences of negative life events during the recent past were used to generate a measure of acute stress. In addition, multiple indicators based on reports from various informants were used to estimate latent constructs for parental depression, discipline practices, and adolescent adjustment. Employing 2 independent samples of families from 2 different regions of the country (rural Iowa and a medium-sized city in Oregon), structural equation models were used to test the hypothesis that in intact families acute stress experienced by parents is linked to boys' adjustment (average age equaled 11.8 years in the Oregon sample, 12.7 years in the Iowa sample) through 2 different causal mechanisms. The findings showed that parental stress was related to adjustment through stress-related parental depression that is, in turn, correlated with disrupted discipline practices. Poor discipline appears to provide the direct link with developmental outcomes. The structural equation model (SEM) used to test the proposed mediational process was consistent with the data for mothers and boys from both the Oregon and the Iowa samples. The similarity in results was less clear for fathers and boys. Implications of these results for future replication studies are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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