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03-10-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 1/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 1/2020

The Relationship between Maternal Overprotection, Adolescent Internalizing and Externalizing Problems, and Psychological Need Frustration: A Multi-Informant Study Using Response Surface Analysis

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 1/2020
Auteurs:
Stijn Van Petegem, Jean-Philippe Antonietti, Cindy Eira Nunes, Evie Kins, Bart Soenens
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Abstract

Parents and adolescents may hold discrepant views about parents’ behaviors, which may be related to adolescent maladjustment. The goal of the present investigation was to examine associations between overprotective parenting and adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems and the frustration of their psychological needs (for autonomy, relatedness and competence), thereby considering both congruence and incongruence in adolescents’ and mothers’ reports of overprotective parenting. Our sample consisted of 402 mother-adolescent dyads (M adolescent age = 16.8 years, 63% female), who reported upon the mothers’ overprotective parenting. In addition, adolescents filled out questionnaires assessing their internalizing and externalizing problems and psychological need frustration. Data were analyzed using polynomial regressions with response surface analysis. Results showed evidence for a linear, additive relationship between adolescents’ and mothers’ reports of overprotective parenting, and adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing symptoms and relatedness and competence frustration. That is, higher scores in adolescents’ and mothers’ ratings of overprotective parenting were associated with more maladjustment and more need frustration. Moreover, results indicated that incongruence between adolescents’ and mothers’ reports related to more externalizing problems and more autonomy and relatedness frustration, and this was especially the case when adolescents perceived higher levels of overprotection than what was reported by mothers. These results underscore the importance of considering multiple perspectives when studying the dynamics involved in overprotective parenting.

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