Mothering, fathering, and Italian adolescents' problem behaviors and life satisfaction: Dimensional and typological approach

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Abstract

In this study, we explored the relationshipbetween mothering, fathering and Italian adolescents’ problem behaviors and life satisfaction by using both typologicaland dimensional approaches. From a typological perspective,we examined variations in adolescent adjustment as a function of maternal and paternal parenting styles. From a dimensional perspective, we examined the relationships between crucialdimensions of perceived mothering and fathering (acceptance and strictness) and their contribution to adolescents’ adjustment, for girls and boys separately. A total of 213 adolescents(99 boys and 114 girls), aged from 14 to 16 years of age, completed self-report measures on perceived parenting styles,internalizing and externalizing behaviors, and life satisfaction.Overall, the results confirmed the relationship between maternal and paternal styles and adolescents’ adjustment. Still, the data have not led to the identification of an optimalparenting style among the Italian adolescents because the authoritative, the authoritarian, and the indulgent styles emerged as most favorable in relation to the different dimensions of adjustment and life satisfaction, whereas the neglectful style was most linked to behavioral problems and tolow satisfaction. When the focus was on the dimensions, the results showed that for boys, maternal and paternal strictness were negatively related to behavioral problems—both internalizingand externalizing—and positively related to general satisfaction. Meanwhile, for girls, maternal and paternal strictness were negatively related only to externalizing problems. Paternal acceptance was negatively related to girls’ behavioral problems, while maternal acceptance was positivelyrelated to girls’ general satisfaction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-580
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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