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06-05-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 1/2016

Disruptive Behavior and Parenting in Emerging Adulthood: Mediational Effect of Parental Psychopathology

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 1/2016
Auteurs:
Emily McClelland, Cliff McKinney

Abstract

The field of research associated with this study is clinical psychology; specifically, the focus is on parenting, emerging adulthood, and disruptive behavior. Research indicates that ineffective parenting practices are associated with disruptive behavior in offspring and disruptive behavior in offspring affects parenting practices. However, this relationship is not studied in emerging adulthood. Thus, we examined the relationship between parenting and disruptive behavior in a sample of emerging adults. It was hypothesized that rule-breaking behavior would have a stronger impact on parenting than aggressive behavior and ADHD problems, and parental psychopathology would mediate the relationship between disruptive behavior and parenting. Participants were 484 college students age 18–24 years. Current perceptions of mothers and fathers were measured separately via an online survey using the Parental Authority Questionnaire, Parental Environment Questionnaire, Conflict Tactics Scale: Parent–Child Version, and the Adult Self-Report/Adult Behavior Checklist. As hypothesized, ADHD had no association with parenting or discipline practices. Rule-breaking behavior in sons and daughters was associated more highly with maternal effective parenting and harsh discipline than aggressive behavior and ADHD problems. For fathers, rule-breaking behavior in sons was associated more highly with paternal effective parenting than aggressive behavior or ADHD problems. Mediation by parental psychopathology was largely supported for mothers and fathers and moderation by participant gender was found in some cases. Regarding clinical significance, parents of emerging adults with disruptive behavior may experience distress influencing their ability to parent effectively. It may be suggested that parents of emerging adults seek methods to learn to parent more effectively.

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