The Role of Life Satisfaction in the Relationship Between Authoritative Parenting Dimensions and Adolescent Problem Behavior
Research examining environmental factors associated with adolescents’ life satisfaction (LS) has revealed that familial variables (e.g., parent-child conflict, family structure) are crucial correlates. The purpose of the current study was to identify particular dimensions of authoritative parenting (strictness-supervision, social support/involvement, and psychological autonomy granting) that are related to LS during early, middle, and late adolescence, as well as to explore the hypothesis that LS serves as a mediator between authoritative parenting and adolescent internalizing and externalizing behavior. A sample of 1201 middle and high school students completed self-report measures assessing these constructs. Results indicated statistically significant relationships between each authoritative parenting dimension and adolescent LS. Although all three parenting dimensions were positively related to LS, perceived parental social support emerged as the strongest correlate. Important developmental differences were revealed, including the finding that the association between parenting behaviors and adolescents’ LS changed as children aged. Last, LS fully mediated the relationship between social support and adolescent problem behavior and partially mediated relationships between the remaining authoritative parenting dimensions (i.e., strictness-supervision, psychological autonomy granting) and maladaptive adolescent behavior.
KeywordsSocial Support Life Satisfaction Authoritative Parenting Adolescent Behavior Adolescent Problem Behavior
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