Adolescent Perceptions as Mediators of Parenting: Genetic and Environmental Contributions

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Abstract

Explaining how genetic factors contribute to associations between parenting and adolescent adjustment is an important next step in developmental research. This study examined the mediating effect of adolescent perceptions on these associations and the genetic and environmental influences underpinning the mediated relationship. Parent, adolescent, and observer ratings of parenting and adolescent adjustment were used in a genetically informative sample of 720 same-sex sibling pairs from 10 to 18 years old. Adolescent perceptions of parenting did significantly mediate a composite measure of parental conflict–negativity and adolescent antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms. The most substantial genetic contributions to the association between parenting and adolescent maladjustment were those mediated by adolescent perceptions. Once genetic and environmental contributions to adolescent perceptions of parenting were removed, shared environmental factors became more important for the remaining direct association.

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