Custom-Fit Parenting: How Low- and Well-Accepted Young Adolescents Benefit from Peer-Related Parenting

Kelly M. Tu, Kim D. Gregson, Stephen A. Erath, Gregory S. Pettit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SYNOPSIS: Objective. The present study investigated whether longitudinal associations between peer-related parenting behaviors (facilitation of peer interactions, social coaching about peer problems) and peer adjustment were moderated by young adolescents’ peer status. Design. Participants included 123 young adolescents (mean age = 12.03 years; 50% boys; 58.5% European American) at Time 1. At Time 1 (summer before the middle school transition), parents reported on their facilitation of peer interaction opportunities and coaching strategies to a hypothetical peer exclusion situation; teachers reported on youth peer acceptance. At Times 1 and 2 (spring after the middle school transition), youth reported on peer adjustment (friendship quality, loneliness, peer victimization). Results. Peer acceptance (pre-middle school transition) moderated prospective associations between peer-related parenting and peer adjustment, yielding two patterns of associations. Parental facilitation predicted better friendship quality and lower levels of loneliness over time among youth with high peer acceptance, but not among youth with low peer acceptance. In contrast, parental social coaching predicted better friendship quality among youth with low peer acceptance, but lower friendship quality among youth with high peer acceptance. Conclusions. Not all forms of positive peer-related parenting are equally beneficial for all youth. Well-accepted youth may have the social opportunities to take advantage of parental facilitation, whereas low-accepted youth may have greater social needs and benefit from support in the form of social coaching. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the literatures on peer-related parenting and peer adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-176
Number of pages20
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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