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20-12-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 10/2015

Family Functioning, Parental Monitoring and Adolescent Familiar Responsibility in Middle and Late Adolescence

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 10/2015
Marina Everri, Tiziana Mancini, Laura Fruggeri


There is a lack of systematic empirical evidence for a link between parental behavior and family functioning; although there have been studies showing that both family functioning and parenting practices, specifically parental monitoring, influence children’s wellbeing, their joint impact on developmental outcomes has not yet been investigated. In the research reported here we address this gap. The relationships among family functioning, parental monitoring and familiar responsibility were examined in a sample of 320 Italian adolescents in two age ranges 14–15 years (n = 186) and 18–19 years (n = 133) in respectively the first and last years of secondary school. A questionnaire containing scales of the studied dimensions was administered in the classroom. A simple mediation model to investigate mediation of parental monitoring and a mediated moderation model to test the indirect conditional effect of adolescents’ age were run. Our results showed that parental monitoring amplified the positive impact of healthy family functioning on adolescent familiar responsibility and buffered the negative impact of problematic family functioning. Contrary to predictions, adolescent age did not moderate the strength of the observed relationships. Taken together these results confirm the protective function of parental monitoring during adolescent development and provide support for the concept of familiar responsibility as a relational competence indicating psychosocial maturity and linked to family variables, rather than a simply characteristic of the individual. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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