Category: Parenting / Families
Parent-adolescent conflict has long been established as an issue leading to greater problems with family functioning (Robin & Foster, 1989). Given the increase in conflict between parents and youth during adolescence, it is important to elucidate the underlying factors contributing to both positive and negative communication. Numerous studies have identified variables associated with higher levels of conflict and subsequent negative outcomes (Skinner & McHale, 2016; Sorkhabi & Middaugh, 2013; Sillars et al., 2014; Weymouth et al., 2016). These variables include poor family communication, lower parental acceptance, and coercive parenting (Sillars et al., 2014; Skinner & McHale, 2016; Sorkhabi & Middaugh, 2013). Moreover, research has suggested that parent-adolescent conflict leads to poor adjustment outcomes or maladjustment (Weymouth et al., 2016). In contrast, few studies have identified variables predictive of lower levels of conflict and how this may relate to positive outcomes. Personal adjustment describes an array of adaptive skills and functioning, including perceptions of self, self-reliance, and interpersonal skills (Weis & Smenner, 2007). Within adolescence, perceptions of self and self-reliance are of particular interest as they enhance the development of the adolescent autonomy (Moed et al., 2015). Previous research has also demonstrated that family routines have served as protective factors against the negative impact of family instability in vulnerable populations (Roche & Ghazarian, 2012) and parent-child shared time in adolescence has been associated with less family conflict (Dubas & Gerris, 2002). The current study aims to identify positive predictors of lower levels of parent-adolescent conflict, specifically examining the relationship between parent-adolescent conflict with adolescent personal adjustment and routines. In the present study, 226 caregivers and adolescents participated. Parents completed the Adolescent Routines Questionnaire: Parent (ARQ) and adolescents completed the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC-2: SRP; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2006; Personal Adjustment composite) and Conflict Behavior Questionnaire Short Form: Adolescent (CBQ-20; Prinz, Foster, Kent & O'Leary, 1979; Robin & Foster, 1989). A multiple linear regression was conducted to predict adolescent ratings of parent-adolescent conflict based on adolescent positive adjustment and adolescent routines. A significant regression equation was found (F(2, 150) = 33.63, p < .05), with an adjusted R2 of .30. Therefore, adolescent personal adjustment and routines accounted for 30% of the variance within parent-adolescent conflict. These findings are of clinical importance, as the implementation of routines and focus on the development of adaptive skills may serve as protective factors against dysfunctional parent-adolescent conflict.
Sabrina Gretkierewicz– Graduate Student, Louisiana State University
Adrienne Anderson– Graduate Student, Louisiana State University
Ryan Cummins– Graduate Student, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Jennifer Piscitello– Graduate Student, Louisiana State University
Mary Lou Kelley– Director of Clinical Training, Louisiana State University