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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2019 May 30. doi: 10.1007/s00787-019-01349-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Investigating the interplay between parenting dimensions and styles, and the association with adolescent outcomes.

Author information

1
Parenting and Special Education Research Unit, KU Leuven, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 32, 3000, Leuven, Belgium. filip.calders@kuleuven.be.
2
School Psychology and Development in Context Research Unit, KU Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.
3
Parenting and Special Education Research Unit, KU Leuven, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 32, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.
4
Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences Research Group, KU Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.
5
Methodology of Educational Sciences Research Group, KU Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.

Abstract

Research has indicated that a strictly dimensional or parental style approach does not capture the full complexity of parenting. To better understand this complexity, the current study combined these two approaches using a novel statistical technique, i.e., subspace K-means clustering. Four objectives were addressed. First, the study tried to identify meaningful groups of parents in longitudinal adolescent reports on parenting behaviour. Second, the dimensional structure of every cluster was inspected to uncover differences in parenting between and within clusters. Third, the parenting styles were compared on several adolescent characteristics. Fourth, to examine the impact of change in parenting style over time, we looked at the cluster membership over time. Longitudinal questionnaire data were collected at three annual waves, with 1,116 adolescents (mean age = 13.79 years) at wave 1. Based on five parenting dimensions (support and proactive, punitive, psychological and harsh control), subspace K-means clustering, analysed per wave separately, identified two clusters (authoritative and authoritarian parenting) in which parenting dimensions were interrelated differently. Authoritative parenting seemed to be beneficial for adolescent development (less externalising problem behaviour and higher self-concept). Longitudinal data revealed several parenting group trajectories which showed differential relations with adolescent outcomes. Change in membership from the authoritative cluster to the authoritarian cluster was associated with a decrease in self-concept and an increase in externalising problem behaviour, whereas changes from the authoritarian cluster to the authoritative cluster were associated with an increase in self-concept and a decrease in externalising problem behaviour.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Externalising problems; Parenting; Self-concept; Subspace K-means clustering

PMID:
31144101
DOI:
10.1007/s00787-019-01349-x

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