Understanding Links Between Punitive Parenting and Adolescent Adjustment: The Relevance of Context and Reciprocal Associations

Kathleen M. Roche, Sharon R. Ghazarian, Todd D. Little, Tama Leventhal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is considerable debate regarding the extent to which punitive parenting adversely impacts youth well-being. Using an ecological-transactional model of human development, we examined reciprocity and contextual variability in associations between maternal punitive discipline and adolescent adjustment among 1,147 low-income, urban youth followed through adolescence. Longitudinal structural equation modeling results indicated that delinquency and depressive symptoms during pre- and early adolescence (Time 1) were associated with increased punitive discipline about a year later (Time 2). When mothers reported less Time 2 neighborhood disorder, punitive discipline at Time 2 was associated with increased delinquency (for boys) and depressive symptoms (for girls) during mid- to late adolescence (Time 3). The costs of punitive discipline for adolescent adjustment are best understood considering the dynamic, transactional, and contextual nature of development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-460
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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