Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 187–197 | Cite as

Parent-adolescent conflict and stress as a parent: Are there differences between being a mother or a father?

  • Michelle Wierson
  • Lisa Armistead
  • Rex Forehand
  • Amanda McCombs Thomas
  • Rob Fauber


Parent-adolescent conflict is viewed as a common dimension of the family during the teenage years. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether mothers and fathers of young adolescents differ in their report of conflict with their adolescent, level of stress, and parenting competence. Furthermore, the role of age and gender of the young adolescents was examined. One hundred and twenty-two adolescents and their parents participated in the study. All families were intact. The families were divided into groups according to the adolescent's age and gender. Analyses of variance with three factors (adolescent's age, adolescent's gender, mothers versus fathers) were performed. Mothers and fathers did not differ on personal (depression) or marital adjustment and on perceived parenting competency. In contrast, in terms of parent-adolescent conflict, mothers reported a less positive relationship, a greater number of conflicts, and more intense discussions of conflicts with their adolescents. Gender and age of the adolescent were not important contributors to the analyses. The results suggest that, in terms of the variables examined in this study, conflict in the parent-adolescent relationship is the primary difference between mothers and fathers.

Key words

parent-adolescent conflict stress parenting competence 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Wierson
    • 1
  • Lisa Armistead
    • 1
  • Rex Forehand
    • 1
  • Amanda McCombs Thomas
    • 1
  • Rob Fauber
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthens
  2. 2.Temple UniversityPhiladelphia

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