Parenting Behavior as Mediator and Moderator of the Association Between Marital Problems and Adolescent Maladjustment

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Abstract

The present study examines the mediating and moderating effects of parenting behavior on the relation between marital problems and adolescent maladjustment. Extending earlier studies by using a prospective, longitudinal research design and multi-informant methods, this study of 451 adolescents and their families from the Iowa Youth and Families Project demonstrates that parenting behavior mediates the relation between marital problems and adolescent outcomes. The results also suggest that both marital conflict and distress are harmful for adolescents. Furthermore, not just one aspect, but a broad range of parenting behaviors links marital problems to adolescent maladjustment. Finally, there was limited evidence that parenting behavior moderates the influence of marital problems on adolescent adjustment by intensifying the adverse impact of marital difficulties.

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