Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 296–305 | Cite as

Two Faces of Parental Support: Risk and Protection for Antisocial Youth Depending on Parental Knowledge

  • Olalla Cutrín
  • José Antonio Gómez-Fraguela
  • Jorge Sobral
Original Paper


Research has suggested that warm and supportive relationships are indispensable to facilitate parent-child communication which, in turn, enables parental knowledge. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyse the direct and indirect effects of parental support and parental knowledge on juvenile antisocial behaviours (i.e., substance abuse, nonviolent antisocial behaviour, and violent behaviour) taking into account gender differences. The sample was composed of 876 Spanish young people: 584 from the community aged 14 to 19, 46.9 % males, and 292 from juvenile centres aged 14 to 22, 91.1 % males. Several scales from the protocol of Valoración del Riesgo en Adolescentes Infractores [Juvenile Offender’s Risk Assessment] were used to measure the variables. Results of structural equation modelling indicate that parental knowledge is significantly and negatively related to the antisocial behaviours in both community and institutionalized subsamples both in males and females. On the other hand, although the parental support appears to show positive or not significant direct effects on antisocial behaviours, results indicate the existence of significant and strong mediation effects through parental knowledge. Thus, parental support is significantly and negatively related to all antisocial behaviours, in both subsamples and in both gender, only through the increasing of parental knowledge. These findings seem to suggest that high levels of parental support may only be effective to reduce juvenile antisocial behaviours through increasing levels of parental knowledge.


Parental support Parental knowledge Antisocial behaviour Youth Mediation effects 



This study was supported by the Subdirección General de Proyectos de Investigación (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Gobierno de España) under Grants PSI2011-29704-C03-01 and PSI2015-65766-R; and the Programa de Axudas á etapa predoutoral da Xunta de Galicia (Consellería de Cultura, Educación e Ordenación Universitaria).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olalla Cutrín
    • 1
  • José Antonio Gómez-Fraguela
    • 1
  • Jorge Sobral
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Psychobiological PsychologyUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Political Science and SociologyUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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