Structural relations between sources of parental knowledge, feelings of being overly controlled and risk behaviors in early adolescence
Sabina Kapetanovic, PhD Student of Welfare and Social Science, School of Health and Welfare in Jönköping, published an article in August in the Journal of Family Studies in collaboration with Margareta Bohlin, Therese Skoog and Arne Gerdner.
In this study, we have investigated parental knowledge and its sources, namely adolescent disclosure, parental control, and parental solicitation; and how they relate to adolescents’ feelings of being overly controlled, and to three types of adolescent risk behaviors, namely bullying, substance use, and delinquent behavior. This was studied in a sample of 1520 Swedish early adolescent boys and girls (M age = 13.0). A structural equation path model showed that adolescent disclosure and parental control were positively associated with parental knowledge, which in turn related to all three risk behaviors. Adolescent disclosure was related to lower levels of risk behaviors, while parental solicitation was linked to higher levels of adolescent engagement in risk behaviors, especially for boys, through feelings of being overly controlled. The findings support the idea of a functional role of open communication, as well as adequate levels of autonomy granting, for managing boys’ and girls’ risk behavior.