Parent and Peer Factors Relating to Adolescent Antisocial Behaviour: Investigating the Moderating Role of Temperament
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The purpose of this study was to examine whether certain temperament characteristics (fearfulness, surgency, frustration, and effortful control) moderate the association between authoritative parenting dimensions (psychological autonomy granting, acceptance-involvement, and monitoring knowledge) or friends' antisocial behaviour, and self-reported antisocial behaviour among adolescents. Questionnaires on adolescent temperament and authoritative parenting were completed by 484 mothers and their adolescent children (54.8% female). In addition, the adolescents responded to measures regarding friends' antisocial behavior and their own antisocial behaviour. Adolescent participants ranged between 13 and 17 years of age (M = 14.96 years, SD = 1.39) and lived in a region of southern Ontario. As predicted, the results indicated that effortful control moderated the association between parental monitoring knowledge and adolescent antisocial behaviour. Also, as predicted, effortful control moderated the relation between friends' antisocial behaviour and adolescents' self-reports of antisocial behaviour although the relation was sex-specific to girls. Unexpected results included a significant monitoring knowledge by frustration by sex interaction, and a significant friends' antisocial behaviour by age interaction. In general, the findings were consistent with the expectation that the relation of parenting and peer factors to antisocial behaviour would depend on adolescents' temperamental predispositions. However, effortful control, which contributes to individual differences in self-regulation abilities, served this moderating role to a greater extent than the measures of temperamental reactivity, including fearfulness, surgency and frustration-proneness. Implications of these results are discussed with reference to parenting or classroom-based interventions that may be especially helpful for adolescents with poor self-regulation abilities.