Parenting of Adolescents and Emerging Adults

  • Alan RalphEmail author


Parenting inevitably includes assisting children through a series of transitions, including physical, social, and psychological ones. The level of control that parents exert during these transitions varies both within and among different cultures, but generally the process is characterized by a gradual decrease in the amount of responsibility taken by the parent, with it being transferred on the basis of varying indicators of increasing maturity and readiness. Parenting children as they transition through the teenage years and into their early twenties does not require threshold changes. It is best characterized as a seamless process whereby parents continue to tune in to the skills, feelings, and wishes of their increasingly adult children as they encounter and adapt to the various life challenges that accompany that journey. The development of autonomy does not have to occur at the expense of a warm, loving relationship that is reciprocated between parent and offspring. It is expected that the parent/s will have transferred much of the decision-making but will continue to be consulted in discussions about important life events. This chapter examines how parents might be encouraged to adapt the ways they interact with their children after puberty to better promote their child’s health and well-being along a continuum of a developmental trajectory.


Adolescence Parenting Autonomy Brain development 



The Parenting and Family Support Centre is partly funded by royalties stemming from published resources of the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program, which is developed and owned by the University of Queensland (UQ). Royalties are also distributed to the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at UQ and contributory authors of published Triple P resources. Triple P International (TPI) Pty Ltd. is a private company licensed by UniQuest Pty Ltd. on behalf of UQ, to publish and disseminate Triple P worldwide. The author of this chapter has no share or ownership of TPI. Dr. Ralph receives royalties from TPI and is Director of Training at Triple P International. TPI had no involvement in the writing of this chapter. Dr. Ralph has an honorary appointment at UQ.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Parenting and Family Support Centre, School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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