The role of parental control and coping strategies on adolescents’ problem behaviors

  • Cristiano IngugliaEmail author
  • Sebastiano Costa
  • Sonia Ingoglia
  • Francesca Cuzzocrea
  • Francesca Liga


The current study was aimed at contributing to the understanding of the role of perceived parental monitoring, psychological control, and coping strategies on adolescents’ problem behaviors, in terms of anxiety and drinking behavior. Participants were 541 high school students, 17 to 19-year old (M = 17.09, SD = 0.80) high school students in Sicily and Calabria (Italy). Participants completed self-report measures assessing parental monitoring, psychological control, coping strategies (i.e., Task-Oriented, Emotion-Oriented, and Avoidance-Oriented). Results of the path analysis showed that coping strategies play a mediating role in the association between parental psychological control and both adolescents’ anxiety and drinking behavior. Furthermore, a direct positive association was reported from parental psychological control and anxiety, while a negative direct association was reported from parental monitoring to drinking behavior. Results of this study provide a comprehensive model that showed that the different coping strategies could explain the psychological mechanisms that underline the associations between two different kinds of parental control (psychological control and monitoring) and both internalizing and externalizing adolescents’ form of maladjustment (e.g. anxiety and drinking behaviors). Overall, coping strategies seem to be a fruitful target for the prevention programs for adolescents’ anxiety and drinking behaviors.


Parental control Coping Anxiety Drinking behavior Adolescence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Statements

The data from this paper have not been previously presented. My coauthors and I do not have any interests that might be interpreted as influencing the research, and the ethical standards of APA were followed in the conduct of the study. In particular, the research was performed in accordance with the declaration of Helsinki and was approved by local ethics committee. Furthermore, informed consent to participate in the study was obtained from participants and/or their parents.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Psicologiche, Pedagogiche, dell’Esercizio Fisico e della FormazioneUniversità degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di PsicologiaUniversità degli studi della Campania Luigi VanvitelliCasertaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze della SaluteUniversità degli Studi “Magna Graecia” di CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e SperimentaleUniversità degli Studi di MessinaMessinaItaly

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