Parent-Adolescent Conflict and Adolescent Antisocial and Arosocial Behavior: A Longitudinal Study in a Chinese Context

By Shek, Daniel T. L.; Ma, Hing Keung | Adolescence, Fall 2001 | Go to article overview

Parent-Adolescent Conflict and Adolescent Antisocial and Arosocial Behavior: A Longitudinal Study in a Chinese Context


Shek, Daniel T. L., Ma, Hing Keung, Adolescence


ABSTRACT

This longitudinal study examined the relationships between parent-adolescent conflict and antisocial and prosocial behavior in Chinese adolescents. Results showed that father-adolescent conflict and mother-adolescent conflict were concurrently related to adolescent antisocial and prosocial behavior. Longitudinal analyses showed that parent-adolescent conflict predicted antisocial behavior but not prosocial behavior. Adolescent antisocial and prosocial behavior was also found to be related to father-adolescent conflict across time. The findings suggest that the linkage between father-adolescent conflict and adolescent social behavior is stronger than that between mother-adolescent conflict and adolescent social behavior.

Theorists have proposed that conflict within the family plays an important role in shaping child and adolescent development, and parent-adolescent conflict is widely recognized by clinicians as an etiological factor in adolescent maladjustment (e.g., Foster & Robin, 1988; Hall, 1987). However, there has been limited research on the links between parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent development. As noted by Rubenstein and Feldman (1993), "it is not known to what extent adolescent behavioral and emotional disorders are a function of the amount of conflict in the family" (p. 43).

A survey of the literature on parent-adolescent conflict shows it to be related to adolescent maladjustment, including depression (Forehand, Brody, Slotkin, Fauber, McCombs, & Long, 1988), injuries (Bijur, Kurzon, Hamelsky, & Power, 1991), unacceptable behavior (Tomlinson, 1991), problem behavior at school and academic performance (Forehand, Long, Brody, & Fauber, 1986), and anxiety and self-esteem problems (Slater & Haber, 1984). Studies have also found extensive parentchild conflict in the homes of disturbed children (Reich, Earls, & Powell, 1988) and runaway adolescents (Adams, Gullotta, & Clancy, 1985; Justice & Duncan, 1976).

There are several limitations to past studies on the linkage between parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent development. First, these studies have mainly investigated the psychological well-being of adolescents, with few examining the relationship between parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent social behavior. Second, the research on social behavior has primarily focused on the relationship between parent-adolescent conflict and adolescents' antisocial behavior; little attention has been paid to their prosocial behavior (Chase-Lansdale Wakschlag, & Brooks-Gunn, 1995). Only a few studies (e.g., Ma, Shek, Cheung, & Lee, 1996; Shek, Ma, & Cheung, 1994) have examined adolescent social relations, antisocial behavior, and prosocial behavior simultaneously. Third, few studies have been conducted on the direction of influences between parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent social behavior. As noted by Cox and Paley (1997), empirical evidence is sparse with respect to the relationships among systemic function ing, dyadic relationships, and individual behavior in the family.

Regarding the direction of influences between parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent social behavior, there are at least five possibilities: (1) parent-adolescent conflict influences adolescent social behavior; (2) adolescent social behavior influences parent-adolescent conflict; (3) parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent social behavior influence each other (i.e., bidirectional influence between the two domains); (4) parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent social behavior do not influence each other; and (5) the relationship between the two domains is spurious. Studies have primarily been guided by the first possibility, assuming that increased parent-adolescent conflict is conducive to negative social behavior in adolescents. In contrast, there has been much less research examining the second possibility (i.e., that adolescent social behavior is an antecedent of parent-adolescent conflict), and findings have been interpreted in terms of the influence of parent-adolescent conflict on antisocial behav ior (e.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Parent-Adolescent Conflict and Adolescent Antisocial and Arosocial Behavior: A Longitudinal Study in a Chinese Context
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.