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J Adolesc. 2013 Aug;36(4):695-704. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Impact of parental emotional support and coercive control on adolescents' self-esteem and psychological distress: results of a four-year longitudinal study.

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Département des sciences de la santé, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, 555 bl. Université, Saguenay, Québec, Canada, G7H 2B1.


This study aims at investigating the impact of parental practices on youths' adjustment. In all, 605 adolescents completed questionnaires at ages 14, 16 and 18. Self-esteem, psychological distress as well as parental emotional support and coercive control were measured. Analyses based on individual growth models revealed that self-esteem increased with age, but psychological distress remained stable over time. Boys reported higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of psychological distress than girls. Maternal and paternal emotional support reinforced self-esteem over time. Maternal coercive control undermined self-esteem, but only at ages 16 and 18. Psychological distress decreased with parental emotional support but increased with parental coercive control at ages 14, 16 and 18. Overall, these results indicate that positive parental practices are related to youths' well-being. These findings support the importance of establishing intervention strategies designed to promote best practices among parents of teenagers to help them develop into well-adjusted adults.


Adolescents; Parental control; Parental practices; Parental support; Psychological distress; Self-esteem

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