Relation of parental support and control to adolescents' externalizing symptomatology and substance use: A longitudinal examination of curvilinear effects

Eric Stice, Manuel Barrera, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations


Past research has generated inconsistent findings regarding the relation of parental control and support to adolescent problem behaviors. Using two waves of data collected 1 year apart, the current study examined the influence of parental control and support on adolescents' externalizing symptoms, alcohol use, and illicit substance use. A sample of adolescents and their parents (@#@ N =454) was studied, within which approximately half of the adolescents were at high risk because of parental alcoholism. Multipleregression analyses of crosssectional data showed a negative quadratic relation between parental control and adolescent externalizing symptomatology, and between parental control and adolescent illicit substance use. Parental control had a negative linear relation to adolescent alcohol use. Parental support showed a negative quadratic relation to adolescent illicit substance use, and negative linear relations to adolescent alcohol use and externalizing symptoms. Although longitudinally adjusted contemporaneous results were consistent with crosssectional findings, parental support and control were prospectively related only to adolescent alcohol use. The quadratic relations suggest that adolescents who receive either extreme of parental support or control are at risk for problem behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-629
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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