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Parenting Profiles and Adolescent Dating Relationship Abuse: Attitudes and Experiences

Abstract

Parenting behaviors such as monitoring and communications are known correlates of abusive outcomes in adolescent dating relationships. This longitudinal study draws on separate parent (58 % female; 61 % White non-Hispanic, 12 % Black non-Hispanic, 7 % other non-Hispanic, and 20 % Hispanic) and youth (ages 12–18 years; 48 % female) surveys from the nationally representative Survey of Teen Relationships and Intimate Violence. Latent class analyses were applied to investigate whether there are distinguishable parenting profiles based on six measures of parent–youth relationship and interactions, with youth’s attitudes about abusive dating behavior and both perpetration and victimization examined in a follow-up survey as distal outcomes (n = 1117 parent–youth dyads). A three-class model—a “Positive Parenting” class, a “Strict/Harsh Parenting” class, and a “Disengaged/Harsh Parenting” class—was selected to best represent the data. The selected latent class model was conditioned on parents’ (anger trait, relationship quality, attitudes about domestic violence) and youth’s (prior victimization and perpetration) covariates, controlling for parent’s gender, race/ethnicity, income, marital status, and youth’s age and gender. Youth in the “Positive Parenting” class were significantly less likely 1 year later to be tolerant of violence against boyfriends under any conditions as well as less likely to perpetrate adolescent relationship abuse or to be a victim of adolescent relationship abuse. Parents’ anger and relationship quality and youth’s prior perpetration of adolescent relationship abuse as well as gender, age, and race/ethnicity predicted class membership, informing universal prevention program and message design, as well as indicated efforts to target communications and services for parents as well as for youth.

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Acknowledgments

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice or any other organization. We thank Peggy C. Giordano for her contributions to the STRiV instrument design and Lauren Bishop for her assistance with presenting the results.

Funding

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Grant No. 2011-WG-BX-0020 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of views in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice or any other organization.

Author Contributions

E.A.M. and B.G.T. conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript. W.L. participated in the study design, conducted the analyses, and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth A. Mumford.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the IRB at NORC at the University of Chicago and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was confirmed from all parent respondents and youth respondents who were age 18 at the time of the wave 1 or the wave 2 interview. Informed assent was confirmed for all youth respondents under age 18 at either interview.

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Mumford, E.A., Liu, W. & Taylor, B.G. Parenting Profiles and Adolescent Dating Relationship Abuse: Attitudes and Experiences. J Youth Adolescence 45, 959–972 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0448-8

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Keywords

  • Teen dating violence
  • Adolescent relationship abuse
  • Conditional tolerance
  • Parenting profiles
  • Online national surveys
  • Latent class analysis