More problems and less support: early adolescent adjustment forecasts changes in perceived support from parents

J Fam Psychol. 2009 Apr;23(2):193-202. doi: 10.1037/a0015077.


This study examines longitudinal associations between adolescent adjustment and perceived parental support across the middle-school years (ages 11 to 13) in a diverse sample of 197 girls and 116 boys. Growth curve models revealed associations between the slope of change in perceptions of support in relationships with mothers and fathers and the slope of change in adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms such that declining support accompanied increasing problems. After controlling for this correlated change, there was still evidence of child-problem effects on changes in relationship support (i.e., initial levels of adolescent externalizing symptoms predicted subsequent changes in perceived parental support), but there was no evidence of parent-support effects on changes in adjustment (i.e., initial levels of relationship support did not predict changes in adolescent externalizing symptoms). Declines in perceived parental support were steeper at high-initial levels of adolescent externalizing than at average or low levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Perception*
  • Social Support*
  • Students / psychology