Supportive parent-adolescent relationships as a foundation for adolescent emotion regulation and adjustment

Erin L. Ratliff, Amanda S. Morris, Lixian Cui, Jens E. Jespersen, Jennifer S. Silk, Michael M. Criss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the influence of supportive parent-adolescent relationships on adolescent adjustment (i.e., prosocial behavior, aggression, depressive symptoms) both directly and indirectly (via adolescent emotion regulation). Scholars have posited that adolescent emotion regulation (ER) may serve as an underlying mechanism in the link between parenting and adolescent adjustment. Supportive parent-adolescent relationships (i.e., openness, acceptance, emotional responsiveness) may be a key emotion socialization mechanism influencing adolescent ER. Methods: The sample included 206 adolescents (Age Range= 10–18years; 51% female; 70.4% ethnic minorities) and one primary caregiver (83.3% biological mothers, 38.7% single parents). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was implemented to investigate the direct and indirect (via adolescent ER) effects of supportive parent-adolescent relationships on adolescent adjustment. We also explored whether these indirect and direct effects varied by adolescent sex and age. Results: Results suggested direct and indirect (via adolescent ER) links between supportive parent-adolescent relationships and adolescent prosocial behavior, aggressive behavior, and depressive symptoms. Moreover, evidence indicated that many of these pathways were significant for boys but not girls. No evidence of youth age as a moderator was found. Discussion: These findings highlight the important role supportive parent-adolescent relationships play in adolescent emotional and behavioral adjustment. Parenting programs could focus on facilitating a mutually responsive parent-adolescent relationship with a specific focus on the dynamic nature of emotion socialization during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1193449
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • aggressive behavior
  • depressive symptoms
  • emotion regulation
  • parent-adolescent relationship
  • prosocial behavior

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