The unique influence of mothers' and fathers' negative parental practices on adolescent anti-social behavior: Mediating effects of adolescent psychological resources and deviant peer relationships

Lott, Ryan
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Researchers investigating delinquent and anti-social behavior have documented that negative parental practices is linked to psychological resources (mastery), deviant relationships, and anti-social behaviors. However, there is a gap in the current literature on how these variables combine to influence an adolescent's anti-social behavior, specifically the causal effects of deviant relationships on anti-social behavior. The purpose of this thesis is to include all of these pathways in one succinct causal model that is founded by empirical research. The current study used structural equation model (SEM) analyses to estimate the comprehensive model in order to take measurement error into account. The current study utilizes a sample of 424 adolescents and their families from 8 rural counties in North Central Iowa. This dataset, the Iowa Youth and Families Project (IYFP), includes a unique sample of dual parents. The current study uses Wave 2 (1990) and Wave 3 (1991) of the IYFP data to predict an adolescent's deviant relationships with peers and their anti-social behavior. The current study found that mothers' and fathers' negative parental practices are unique constructs that independently influence an adolescent's's psychological resources, deviant relationships, and anti-social behavior. The current study found a direct relationship between fathers' and mothers' negative parental practices and an adolescent's psychological resources (Mastery). The current study also found a significant relationship between an adolescent's psychological resources and deviant relationships, and a significant relationship between an adolescent's deviant relationships and their anti-social behavior. Thus, negative parental practices of fathers and mothers uniquely and indirectly influenced an adolescent's deviant relationships and anti-social behavior through mastery. The current study discusses a synthesis of Family Stress Models, Social Control Theory, and Social (In)ability Theory as longitudinal processes governing the operationalized model.

Adolescence, Antisocial behavior, Delinquency, Deviant Peers, Mastery, Parenting