Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 39, Issue 11, pp 1357–1367 | Cite as

Self-Regulation in Early Adolescence: Relations with Mother–Son Relationship Quality and Maternal Regulatory Support and Antagonism

  • Kristin L. Moilanen
  • Daniel S. Shaw
  • Amber Fitzpatrick
Empirical Research


The purpose of the current investigation was to examine relations among maternal regulatory support, maternal antagonism, and mother–son relationship quality in relation to boys’ self-regulation during early adolescence. As part of a larger longitudinal study on 263 low-income, ethnically diverse boys, multiple informants and methods were used to examine associations among parenting practices and mother–son relationship quality in relation to boys’ self-regulation at ages 10 and 11. Multivariate analyses indicated that high levels of regulatory supportive parenting and relationship quality and low levels of antagonistic parenting independently predicted high levels of boys’ self-regulation at age 10. Only antagonistic parenting and relationship quality explained variance in levels of boys’ self-regulation at age 11 after accounting for prior self-regulation. The findings suggest that parenting and the context of the parent–child relationship are linked to self-regulation during early adolescence; however, it appears that parental antagonism and relationship quality, not maternal regulatory supportive parenting, contribute to rank-order change in self-regulation abilities. Implications of these results for research and practice are discussed.


Self-regulation Mother–son relationships Parent–child relationship quality Parenting practices Early adolescence 



The research reported in this paper was supported by grants to the second author from the National Institute of Mental Health, grants MH 50907 and MH 01666. We are grateful to the work of the staff of the Pitt Mother & Child Project for their years of service, and to our study families for making the research possible. We also would like to thank Jennifer Silk for providing feedback on an initial draft of the paper, and Michael Criss for providing assistance with study data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin L. Moilanen
    • 1
  • Daniel S. Shaw
    • 2
  • Amber Fitzpatrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Child Development and Family Studies, Department of Technology, Learning and CultureWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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