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01-06-2006 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2006

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 3/2006

Do Parenting Behaviors Predict Externalizing Behavior in Adolescence, or Is Attachment the Neglected 3rd Factor?

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 3/2006
Auteurs:
Guy Bosmans, Caroline Braet, Karla Van Leeuwen, Wim Beyers
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Guy Bosmans has a master in psychology, working at the Ghent University. His major research interests are attachment and psychopathology.
Caroline Braet is a Professor at the Ghent University. She received her Ph.D. in 1993. Her major research interests are obesity and depression.
Karla Van Leeuwen is Ph.D. at the Ghent University. Her major research interests are parenting, temperament, personality, and psycho- pathology.
Wim Beyers is a professor at the Ghent University. He received his Ph.D. in 2001. His major research interests are parenting, separation-adjustment and identity formation in adolescence.
The aim of this study was to examine the role of attachment in the link between parenting behaviors (including positive parenting and negative control) and problem behaviors during adolescence. Using questionnaires, we examined 511 Flemish, Dutch-speaking adolescents ranging in age from 10 to 18 years. We distinguished 3 age groups (10–12, 13–15, and 16–18 years) and conducted mediation and moderator analyses, using multiple regression analyses. Results showed that attachment towards mother and father mediates between negative control and problem behavior in the 1st 2 age groups. The strength of the link between parenting and problem behavior was less strong in the older age groups, while the strength of the link between attachment and parenting was equally important across age groups. Only in the youngest age group, we found some evidence for a parenting by paternal attachment interaction. These findings suggest the need for tailoring existing preventive parent management trainings: more attention should be paid to improve the quality of parent–child interactions and the forthcoming attachment bonds.

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