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Understanding Mother-Adolescent Conflict Discussions: Concurrent and Across-time Prediction from Youths' Dispositions on Parenting

Understanding Mother-Adolescent Conflict Discussions: Concurrent and Across-time Prediction from Youths
Adolescence is often thought of as a period during which parent–child interactions can be relatively stressed and conflictual. There are individual differences in this regard, however, with only a modest percent of youth experiencing extremely conflictual relationships with their parents. Relatively little empirical research, however, addresses individual differences in the quality of parent–adolescent interactions concerning potentially conflictual issues. The research reported in this monograph examined dispositional and parenting predictors of the quality of parents’ and their adolescent children’s emotional displays and positive and negative verbalizations when dealing with conflictual issues. Of particular interest were patterns of continuity and discontinuity in the factors related to conflicts. A multimethod, multireporter (mother, teacher, and sometimes adolescent reports) longitudinal approach(over 4 years) was used to assess adolescents’ dispositional characteristics (control/regulation, resiliency, and negative emotionality), youths’ externalizing problems, and parenting variables (warmth, positive expressivity, discussion of emotion, positive and negative family expressivity). Parentadolescent conflicts appear to be influenced by both child characteristics and quality of prior and concurrent parenting, and child effects may be more evident than parent effects in this pattern of relations.
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ABSTRACT.

I. INTRODUCTION AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK.

II. SAMPLE AND MEASURES.

III. DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSES AND CORRELATIONS.

IV. GROWTH CURVES, PREDICTION OF CONFLICT REACTIONS FROM GROWTH CURVES, AND TESTS OF MEDIATED RELATIONS.

V. SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION.

REFERENCES.

COMMENTARY.

CONFLICTING VIEWS OF CONFLICT (Judith G. Smetana).

PUTTING CONFLICT IN CONTEXT (Nancy Darling).

CONTRIBUTORS.

STATEMENT OF EDITORIAL POLICY.

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Nancy Eisenberg is Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University.
Her books include The Caring Child (1992), The Roots of Prosocial Behavior in Children (with Paul Mussen, 1989), and How Children Develop (2nd edition with Robert Siegler and Judy DeLoache, 2006). She was president of the Western Psychological Association; associate editor of Merrill-Palmer Quarterly and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin; and editor of Psychological Bulletin and a volume of the Handbook of Child Psychology. She is the founding editor of SRCD’s new journal, Child Development Perspectives. Her research and writings pertain to emotion-related regulation and its relation to adjustment and social competence in children and adolescence, as well as the development of sympathy and prosocial behavior.

Claire Hofer (Ph.D., 2006, Arizona State University) is currently a post-doc at Arizona State University. Her research interests include studying children’s and adolescents’ social and emotional development with a particular interest in cross-cultural differences. She has conducted research in France, investigating the role of socialization, emotion regulation, and resiliency in adolescents’ social functioning. She also has been interested in early contributors of young children’s affective perspective taking ability.

Tracy L. Spinrad (Ph.D., 1997, The Pennsylvania State University) is Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. Her research interests include the role of temperamental emotionality, emotion control/regulation and parental socialization on young children’s social/emotional functioning.

Elizabeth T. Gershoff (Ph.D., 1998, University of Texas at Austin) is Assistant Professor of SocialWork and Assistant Research Professor at the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include understanding the impacts of parenting on child and youth development over time and in the contexts of exposure to poverty and community violence.

Carlos Valiente (Ph.D., 2003, Arizona State University) is an Assistant Professor of Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the development of children’s emotion regulation and the contributions of socialization processes and emotion regulation to children’s social and academic competence. Sandra H. Losoya is a Research Assistant Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology, specializing in social–emotional development, from the University of Oregon in 1994. Her research interests are in the area of emotion-related coping and sources of resilience in high-risk children and adolescents. She is currently engaged in a longitudinal, multisite study of serious adolescent offenders and the factors associated with the desistance from crime.

Qing Zhou (Ph.D., 2006, Arizona State University) is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her interests are in children’s regulation and coping, the socialization of socioemotional competence, and cultural influences on social and emotional development.

Amanda Cumberland (M.A., 2000, Arizona State University) is a graduate student in psychology at Arizona State University and works in the computer industry. Her interests are children’s social and emotional competence and factors that affect their development.

Jeffrey Liew (Ph.D., 2005, Arizona State University) is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. His research interests are broadly concerned with the roles of self-regulation and emotional reactivity in children’s psychosocial and academic outcomes. In addition to intraindividual processes, he is interested in the types of parent–child, teacher–student, and peer interactions that facilitate or hinder children’s psychosocial or school adjustment.

Mark Reiser (Ph.D., 1980, University of Chicago) is an associate professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. His research interests include multivariate analysis, latent variable models, and goodness-of-fit tests for sparse cross-classified tables.

Elizabeth Maxon (M.A., 2002, Arizona State University) received her M.A. in educational psychology from Arizona State University and is a student in school psychology. Her interests are in children’s school-related adjustment and success and children’s social and emotional development.

Judith G. Smetana is a professor of psychology and Director of the developmental psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Rochester. Her research investigates adolescent–parent relationships in different ethnic and cultural contexts, children’s moral and social reasoning, and parenting beliefs and practices.

Nancy Darling is a professor of psychology at Oberlin College. Her research investigates contextual variability in adolescent–parent and adolescent–peer relationships and the active role of adolescents in shaping their own experiences.

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