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01-10-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2014

Journal of Child and Family Studies 7/2014

How Variations in Parents’ Use of Confrontive and Coercive Control Relate to Variations in Parent–Adolescent Conflict, Adolescent Disclosure, and Parental Knowledge: Adolescents’ Perspective

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 7/2014
Auteurs:
Nadia Sorkhabi, Ellen Middaugh

Abstract

Benefits and drawbacks of parental control exercised in relation to adolescents continue to be debated in socialization research with greater emphasis being placed on the benefits of parental autonomy-granting than parental control. We examined the relations between maternal and paternal control and parent–adolescent conflict frequency and intensity as well as parental knowledge of adolescent activities and adolescents’ disclosure of their activities to parents. Adolescents in grades 10 and 12 were interviewed about parenting practices their parents employed when regulating 18 adolescent activities. Thirty-seven parenting practices emerged from which authoritarian, directive, authoritative, democratic, and unengaged parenting clusters were derived. Adolescents whose mothers and fathers were classified as directive or authoritative reported less conflict with parents, more disclosure to parents, and more parental knowledge than adolescents whose mothers and fathers were classified as authoritarian. Coercive control practices of authoritarian parents as well as nondemanding practices of unengaged parents and to some extent of democratic parents were related to more negative parent–child relationship indicators than was the extensive use of firm/confrontive control (rational-demanding) by directive parents or authoritative parents. Evidence herein supports the conclusion that even for middle and late adolescents, parental control that is rational and firm is related to beneficial parent–child relationship qualities. Therefore, practitioners should underscore the importance of continued parental control during adolescence not just of autonomy-granting.

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