This longitudinal study examined the unique and joint effects of early adolescent temperament and parenting in predicting the development of adolescent internalizing symptoms in a cross-cultural sample. Participants were 544 early adolescents (T1: Mage = 12.58; 49.5% female) and their mothers (n = 530) from Medellín, Colombia (n = 88), Naples, Italy (n = 90), Rome, Italy (n = 100) and Durham, North Carolina, United States (African Americans n = 92, European Americans n = 97, and Latinx n = 77). Early adolescent negative emotionality (i.e., anger and sadness experience), self-regulation (i.e., effortful control), and parent monitoring and psychological control were measured at T1. Adolescent internalizing symptoms were measured at three time points. Latent Growth Curve Modeling (LGCM) without covariates or predictors indicated a slight linear increase in internalizing symptoms from ages 13–16 years across nearly all cultural groups. Multi-group LGCMs demonstrated several paths were consistently invariant across groups when examining how well temperament and parenting predicted intercept and slope factors. Higher initial levels of internalizing symptoms were significantly predicted by higher adolescent negative emotionality and parental psychological control as well as lower adolescent effortful control and parental monitoring measured one year earlier. Overall, adolescent effortful control appeared to protect against the emergence of internalizing symptoms in all cultures, but this effect faded over time. This study advances knowledge of the normative development of internalizing symptoms during adolescence across cultures while highlighting the predictive value of early adolescent temperament and parenting.
- Effortful control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health