The role of parenting and goal selection in positive youth development: A person-centered approach

Christopher M. Napolitano, Edmond P. Bowers, Steinunn Gestsdottir, Miriam Depping, Alexander von Eye, Paul Chase, Jacqueline V. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a person-centered approach, we examined the relations between goal selection, various indicators of parenting, and positive development among 510 Grades 9 to 11 participants (68% female) in the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development (PYD), a longitudinal study involving U.S. adolescents. Goal selection was operationalized by the "Selection" (S) subscale of the Selection, Optimization, and Compensation intentional self-regulation measure. Using Configural Frequency Analysis, we assessed the association between Selection, parenting (warmth, monitoring, and school involvement), and PYD. Results indicated that, while having the combination of consistently high Selection and above-median levels of the parenting variables was the most common path to PYD, having consistently low levels of Selection across grades was also related to positive development at Grade 11, regardless of parenting factors. We interpret these findings based in relation to the PYD and the identity development literatures and discuss implications for applied programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1149
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Parenting
  • Person-centered approach
  • Positive youth development
  • Self regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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