Parent-Adolescent Relations and Problem Behaviors: Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States

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36 Scopus citations


The current investigation examined the predictive strength of mother/father-adolescent relations (closeness, support, and monitoring) and of low self-control for a variety of adolescent problem behaviors in samples from Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States. Based on data from over N = 6,900 middle and late adolescents, findings indicated the following: (1) each family process dimension was predictive of adolescent problem behaviors in all national contexts. And, despite some overlap between maternal and paternal measures of parent-adolescent relations, each measure had unique and additive explanatory power in adolescent problem behaviors; (2) family processes were predictive of all types of problem behaviors ranging from trivial school misconduct to more serious behaviors such as assault; (3) pairwise comparisons of partial regression coefficients of individual family process dimensions predicting problem behaviors indicated that they were largely identical cross-nationally; (4) final prediction models accounted for between 30% (Swiss youth) and 37% (American and Dutch youth) of the variance in problem behaviors. These findings provide further support for the idea of universal developmental processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-187
Number of pages27
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jan 6 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Auburn University Competitive Research Grant-in-Aid Program. The author would like to thank Marianne Junger and Dick Hessing for coordinating and supporting the Dutch data collection as well as Lara Belliston and Lloyd Pickering for their assistance with data entry and coding. The author also thanks all administrators, teachers, and students for making this study possible.


  • Closeness
  • Cross-cultural
  • Deviance
  • Family process
  • Monitoring
  • Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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