Dynamics of Mother-Adolescent and Father-Adolescent Autonomy and Control During a Conflict Discussion Task

Niyantri Ravindran, Yannan Hu, Nancy L. McElwain, Eva H. Telzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Adolescence is characterized by increases in autonomy, yet we have limited knowledge about how parents and adolescents may navigate this transition in real time. We assessed dynamic bidirectional associations between parental behavior-specifically, autonomy support and control-and adolescent autonomy in both mother-adolescent and father-adolescent dyads during a 10-min conflict discussion task (N = 86, 32 girls). Observers rated parental autonomy support, parental control, and adolescent autonomy on 4-point scales in 30-s epochs. Residual dynamic structural equation (RDSEM) models revealed that increases in paternal autonomy support in a given 30-s epoch predicted increases in adolescent autonomy in the next epoch, after controlling for stability in father and adolescent behavior from one epoch to the next. Further, increases in adolescent autonomy in a given 30-s epoch predicted increases in maternal control in the next epoch. Findings highlight the importance of investigating bidirectional associations in parent-adolescent interactions as well as considering the divergent roles that mothers and fathers may play in the socialization of adolescent autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Autonomy support
  • Bidirectional associations
  • Conflict discussion
  • Fathers
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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