This study used a two-wave design to examine whether (dis)agreement between mothers and adolescents and between fathers and adolescents in reports of on parenting (i.e., support, proactive control, punishment, harsh punishment, and psychological control) was associated with adolescent Externalizing Problem Behavior (EPB; i.e., aggression and rule-breaking behavior) 1 year later.
Adolescents (N = 1,116, Mage = 13.79) reported on EPB and parenting across both parents, whereas mothers (N = 841) and fathers (N = 724) reported on EPB and their own parenting. As suggested by Laird and De Los Reyes (2013), we used moderated polynomial regressions to investigate informant discrepancy.
Results indicated that agreement between mothers and adolescents concerning psychological control positively predicted EPB. Furthermore, there were linear and curvilinear associations between adolescent-reported parenting and EPB.
Our findings indicated that the inclusion of multiple informants, and more specifically, the agreement between two informants was important in predicting adolescent problem behavior. Furthermore, it provided support for including both mothers and fathers in future research or clinical programs. Finally, the link between some parenting practices and externalizing problem behavior may be more complex than suggested by previous studies. Concerning clinical implications, the present study provides support for tailoring prevention/intervention programs for the different members of the family.