Child temperamental flexibility moderates the relation between positive parenting and adolescent adjustment

Jill A. Rabinowitz, Deborah A.G. Drabick, Maureen D. Reynolds, Duncan B. Clark, Thomas M. Olino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Temperamental flexibility and lower positive parenting are associated with internalizing and externalizing problems; however, youth varying in flexibility may be differentially affected by positive parenting in the prediction of symptoms. We examined whether children's flexibility moderated prospective relations between maternal and paternal positive parenting and youth internalizing and externalizing symptoms during adolescence. Participants (N = 775, 71% male) and their caregivers completed measures when youth were 10-12 and 12-14 years old. Father positive parenting interacted with child flexibility to predict father-reported internalizing and externalizing problems. Consistent with the diathesis-stress model, children lower in flexibility experienced greater symptoms than children higher in flexibility in lower positive parenting contexts. Among children lower in flexibility, lower paternal positive parenting was associated with greater internalizing and externalizing symptoms compared to higher paternal positive parenting. However, among youth higher in flexibility, symptom levels were similar regardless of whether youth experienced lower or higher paternal positive parenting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Externalizing symptoms
  • Fathers
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Parenting
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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