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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2012 Nov;40(8):1249-64. doi: 10.1007/s10802-012-9648-1.

Effects of parenting and deviant peers on early to mid-adolescent conduct problems.

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Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute, Iowa State University, 2625 North Loop Drive, Suite 2400, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


We investigated the influence of effective parenting behaviors (father and mother reports) and deviant peer association (adolescent reports) on subsequent young adolescent conduct problems (teacher reports) during grades 7-9, using structural equation modeling. Data were from a sample of 226 rural adolescents (n = 112 boys; n = 107 girls; n = 7 gender unknown), their parents, and teachers. Both effective parenting and association with deviant peers influenced later conduct problems; however, the pattern of influence varied across time and between fathers and mothers, with complex patterns of interactions between effective parenting and peer deviance. From seventh to eighth grade, effective parenting by both mothers and fathers buffered the effect of higher levels of peer deviance on conduct problems across adolescent gender. From eighth to ninth grade (i.e., transition into high school), fathers' effective parenting buffered the effects of deviant peer association on their daughters' conduct problems, whereas both fathers' and mothers' influence was stronger for sons when deviant peer associations were lower. Analyses also evaluated bi-directional longitudinal effects among adolescents, parents, and peers. Although varying by parent and adolescent gender or adolescent age, results generally supported the protective effects of parenting on their children's conduct problems during early to mid adolescence.

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