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Parenting styles and children’s internalizing-externalizing behavior: The mediating role of behavioral regulation

Abstract

The goal was to examine the contribution of parenting style to externalizing/internalizing problems in children and early-adolescents, on the hypothesis that parenting style would affect externalizing and internalizing problems via its effects on behavioral dysregulation. The participants were parents and teachers of 199 children (111 F) from 6 to 15 years old. A multi-informant study was carried out to assess parenting style (parents reports), and (a) behavioral dysregulation, (b) aggressive behavior with peers, (c) hyperactivity/distractibility, (d) anxiety/fear, in an ecological interactive context such as the classroom (teacher report). We tested our hypotheses with Structural Equation Model analysis. Authoritarian style is associated with aggressive behavior with peers, hyperactivity/distractibility, and anxiety/fear, via its effects on behavioral dysregulation. These findings confirm that the authoritarian style plays an important role in externalizing and internalizing problems by increasing behavioral dysregulation, and it has broad implications for interventions aimed at reducing maladjustment in children and adolescents.

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Correspondence to Roberto Marcone.

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Conflict of Interest

Author Roberto Marcone declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Gaetana Affuso declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Angela Borrone declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Marcone, R., Affuso, G. & Borrone, A. Parenting styles and children’s internalizing-externalizing behavior: The mediating role of behavioral regulation. Curr Psychol 39, 13–24 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-017-9757-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-017-9757-7

Keywords

  • Parenting style
  • Behavioral regulation
  • Peer interaction
  • Externalizing and internalizing problems behavior
  • Teacher’s report