Trajectories of perceived support in mother-adolescent relationships: the poor (quality) get poorer

Dev Psychol. 2010 Nov;46(6):1792-8. doi: 10.1037/a0020679.


The authors examined decreases across the early adolescent years in child reports of perceived support from mothers to determine whether the rate of decline differed as a function of the initial amount of perceived negativity in the mother-child relationship. Participants included a diverse sample of 197 girls and 116 boys who were in the 1st year of middle school (6th grade, ages 11 to 13 years) at the beginning of the study. Separate growth curve models revealed associations between the rate of change in child-reported perceived support and the initial level of both child-reported perceived negativity and mother-reported perceived negativity. Over-time declines in child-reported perceived support were larger for adolescents whose initial levels of perceived negativity were greater. The findings are consistent with the claim that mothers and children with the worst relationships at the outset of adolescence experience the greatest deterioration in relations across the early adolescent years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Family Conflict / psychology
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Negativism*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Social Support*
  • Statistics as Topic