Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 333–345 | Cite as

The Effects of Positive and Negative Parenting Practices on Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes in a Multicultural Sample of Rural Youth

  • Paul R. SmokowskiEmail author
  • Martica L. Bacallao
  • Katie L. Cotter
  • Caroline B. R. Evans
Original Article


The quality of parent–child relationships has a significant impact on adolescent developmental outcomes, especially mental health. Given the lack of research on rural adolescent mental health in general and rural parent–child relationships in particular, the current longitudinal study explores how rural adolescents’ (N = 2,617) perceptions of parenting practices effect their mental health (i.e., anxiety, depression, aggression, self-esteem, future optimism, and school satisfaction) over a 1 year period. Regression models showed that current parenting practices (i.e., in Year 2) were strongly associated with current adolescent mental health outcomes. Negative current parenting, manifesting in parent–adolescent conflict, was related to higher adolescent anxiety, depression, and aggression and lower self-esteem, and school satisfaction. Past parent–adolescent conflict (i.e., in Year 1) also positively predicted adolescent aggression in the present. Current positive parenting (i.e., parent support, parent–child future orientation, and parent education support) was significantly associated with less depression and higher self-esteem, future optimism, and school satisfaction. Past parent education support was also related to current adolescent future optimism. Implications for practice and limitations were discussed.


Parenting Adolescent Mental health Rural Youth 



This study was funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (5 U01 CE001948-04).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Smokowski
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Martica L. Bacallao
    • 1
  • Katie L. Cotter
    • 2
  • Caroline B. R. Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.North Carolina Academic Center for Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention, School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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