The Connections between Adolescents’ Perceptions of Parents, Parental Psychological Symptoms, and Adolescent Functioning

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Adolescents' perceptions, Parental psychological symptoms, Parental behavior, Adolescents' emotional/behavioral functioning, Family functioning

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A total of 150 biological mother–father–adolescent triads were interviewed to investigate adolescents' perceptions of parents with and without high levels of psychological symptoms in relation to adolescents' emotional/behavioral functioning. There was a more consistent pattern for sons to show greater externalizing emotional/behavioral problems in relation to levels of adolescents' perceptions of maternal behaviors (i.e., lower acceptance and higher negative affect toward mother). Daughters, however, appeared to show greater internalizing emotional/behavioral problems in relation to higher levels of paternal depression and anxiety and lower levels of maternal control. Furthermore, both sons and daughters showed evidence of higher emotional/behavioral problems (especially internalizing problems) in relation to triangulation and interparental conflict. The complex patterns of the findings relating to the mother–father–adolescent triads emphasize the importance of including both mothers and fathers in future research of adolescents' perceptions of parents.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, v. 24, issue 2, p. 179-200