Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pittman, Laura D.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Although there is growing evidence that parenting stress and adolescent externalizing problems are linked cross-sectionally similarly to families of younger children, longitudinal research examining the direction of these associations among families of adolescents is limited. This study examined the direction of the link between parenting stress and adolescent externalizing problems over time and whether the associations differed due to adolescent temperament. Participants were 333 biological mothers (Mage = 40.15, SDage = 6.86; 75.7% White) with a 12- to 17-year-old adolescent. They were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and completed psychometrically valid measures through Qualtrics at two time points, six months apart. The adolescent-driven only association between early adolescent externalizing problems and later parenting stress was found, while the parent-driven only path from early parenting stress to later adolescent externalizing problems was not supported. Adolescent temperament did not significantly moderate the association between early parenting stress and later adolescent externalizing problems, though trending results were found for the link between early adolescent externalizing problems and later parenting stress. Implications for parent-adolescent interactions and families with parenting stress are discussed.


122 pages




Northern Illinois University

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