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Health Educ Behav. 1998 Jun;25(3):319-37.

The Authoritative Parenting Index: predicting health risk behaviors among children and adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599-7400, USA.


Public health research demonstrates increasing interest in mobilizing parental influence to prevent health risk behaviors among children and adolescents. This research focuses on authoritative parenting, which previous studies suggest can prevent health risk behaviors among youth. To evaluate the reliability and validity of a new survey measure of authoritative parenting, data from studies of (1) substance use in a sample of 1,236 fourth- and sixth-grade students; (2) weapon carrying and interpersonal violence in a sample of 1,490 ninth- and tenth-grade students, and (3) anger, alienation, and conflict resolution in a sample of 224 seventh- and eighth-grade students were analyzed. The Authoritative Parenting Index had a factor structure consistent with a theoretical model of the construct; had acceptable reliability; showed grade, sex, and ethnic differences consistent with other studies; and identified parenting types that varied as hypothesized with multiple indicators of social competence and health risk behaviors among children and adolescents.

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