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Adolescent risk behaviour as related to parenting styles

The purpose of this study was to determine adolescents'
level of interest and engagement in risk behaviours as it
relates to adolescents' and parents' perceptions of the
parenting variables, demandingness and responsiveness. Data
were collected from both adolescents and parents. The
sample was obtained from two schools: (a) 44 Grade 8
students (28 girls, 16 boys) from a local junior high school
and their parents (44 mothers, 37 fathers) ; and (b) 33 Grade
8 students (10 girls, 23 boys) from a second local junior
high school. In order to examine perceptions of parenting,
participants were asked to complete a 33 item questionnaire
adapted from Lamborn et al.'s (1991) parenting measure and
Greenberg's (1991) Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment.
Adolescents were also asked to report on their level of
engagement in 26 risk behaviours, adapted from Lavery et
al.'s (1993) 23-item Risk Involvement and Perception Scale.
Results indicate adolescents' interest in becoming
involved in risk behaviours although a relatively low
incidence of actual engagement in risk behaviours is
evidenced at this time. Adolescents from one school report
significantly higher interest in risk behaviours than those
from the other (F₃,₇₃ = 4.98, p<.03). However, the
relationships between adolescents' ratings of risk behaviours and the two parenting variables were similar at
the two schools. Findings were, therefore, reported for the
combined group of adolescents (N = 77) .
Adolescents' perceptions of parental demandingness and
responsiveness were relatively positive overall.
Relationships between adolescents' perceptions of parental
demandingness and responsiveness, particularly with regard
to mothers, were inversely related to interest in risk
behaviours (ranging from r = -.62 to r = -.35 for Total Risk
Behaviour). Multiple regression analyses indicated that
mothers' demandingness, as perceived by adolescents, is the
most significant predictor (Standard beta = -.56, p.001) of
teens' interest propensity for engagement in risk
Adolescents' perceptions of parenting are more strongly
related to their interest in risk behaviours than are
parents' perceptions of their own parenting. Discrepancy
scores between perceptions of demandingness and
responsiveness indicate that parents typically rated
themselves higher on the parenting variables than did their
teens. However, the absolute magnitude of discrepancy in
parental demandingness was found to be only moderately
associated with adolescents' ratings of risk behaviours
(r = .32) and no relationship was found for discrepant
perceptions of parental responsiveness.
Four parenting style groups (Authoritative,
Authoritarian, Permissive Indulgent, and Permissive
Indifferent), based on Baumrind's conceptual framework, were
formed on the basis of adolescents' ratings of their
parents' demandingness and responsiveness. Adolescents
parented Authoritatively (scores above the median on both
variables) reported the lowest level of interest in risk
behaviours, whereas teens from Permissive Indifferent
families report the highest (F₃,₄₅ = 8.03, p < . 001) .
A qualitative study was conducted by examining
adolescents' use of leisure time. Eight adolescents, a male
and a female chosen from each of the four parenting groups,
completed a four-day Activity Log describing what they did,
where, and with whom in out-of-school time. Those who were
parented Authoritatively reported the fewest risk factors
and the lowest level of interest in risk behaviours.
Further investigation of adolescents' interest or engagement
in risk behaviours, using the Activity Log in conjunction with comprehensive interviews, is warranted.
This study contributes to knowledge in this area in
several ways: (a) a wide range of risk behaviours was
examined in relation to the parenting variables,
demandingness and responsiveness; (b) in addition to
adolescents' data, both fathers' and mothers' data were
examined in relation to adolescents' interest and engagement
in risk behaviour; and, (c) new measures, some derived from
others' work and one newly created, were employed. / Graduate
Date25 May 2017
CreatorsPetersmeyer, Claudia
ContributorsKnowles, Don
Source SetsUniversity of Victoria
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsAvailable to the World Wide Web

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