Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 1076–1088 | Cite as

Parenting Effects are in the Eye of the Beholder: Parent-Adolescent Differences in Perceptions Affects Adolescent Problem Behaviors

  • Laura M. Dimler
  • Misaki N. Natsuaki
  • Paul D. Hastings
  • Carolyn Zahn-Waxler
  • Bonnie Klimes-Dougan
Empirical Research


Although it is known that parents and adolescents hold different views regarding adolescent characteristics (e.g., inter-rater agreement on adolescent behaviors between parents and adolescents is low), we know little about parent-adolescent (dis)agreement in their perceptions of parenting. The current study used 220 parent-adolescent dyads (Mage = 13.3 years; 50.5 % female) to address this gap and examined how the discrepancy between parents’ and adolescents’ perceptions of the parent’s negative reactions toward an adolescent’s anger affects the adolescent’s problem behaviors. Results suggested the direction of the disagreement between the two parties is important: when adolescents viewed parenting more negatively than parents did, adolescents showed elevated levels of broadband externalizing behaviors and, specifically, aggressive behaviors. This finding suggests the importance of adolescents’ subjective views of how mothers and fathers react to them. The findings are discussed in terms of methodology in family studies and implications toward future research.


Perceived parenting Discrepancy Anger Adolescent problem behaviors Inter-rater agreement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura M. Dimler
    • 1
  • Misaki N. Natsuaki
    • 1
  • Paul D. Hastings
    • 2
  • Carolyn Zahn-Waxler
    • 3
  • Bonnie Klimes-Dougan
    • 4
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.University of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  4. 4.University of MinnesotaTwin CitiesUSA

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