Positive and Negative Affect in Parents and adolescents: Gender and assessment method considerations

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Affect, Parents, Adolescents, Observations, Gender

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This study examined adolescents’ self-reports and parents’ reports of adolescents’ positive and negative affect toward their parents, as well as mothers’ and fathers’ self-reports of positive and negative affect toward their adolescents. Based on behavioral observations, adolescent–parent interactions were examined to determine the relation between adolescent–parent behavior, adolescents’ perceptions of parental affect, and parents’ perceptions of adolescent affect. Gender of adolescents, gender of parents, and adolescent gender by parent gender interaction effects were studied as was adolescents’ age. Findings suggest that parent gender (i.e., mothers and fathers) and adolescent gender (i.e., boys and girls) are important considerations when studying affect in parent–adolescent relationships. Age-related differences were not evident. Results are discussed with an eye toward improving the assessment of parent–adolescent affect by using multiple methods of assessment such as direct behavioral observations and multiple informants on questionnaire measures.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, v. 31, p. 347-357