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The Influence of Father and Mother Involvement on Adolescent Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms

Chelsie D Temmen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Although much research has highlighted the importance of parents to adolescent well-being, very little work has focused on father involvement. Pleck’s model of father involvement introduces a framework to examine fathers’ influences on development. This study investigated Pleck’s model of father involvement and its relevance to describing mother involvement, examined the relations between mother and father involvement and adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and explored the moderating role of adolescent gender on the relationships between mother and father involvement and adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms. ^ Data came from 52 intact heterosexual families where the mother, father, and adolescent child (ages 13–17) completed short online surveys. Mothers and fathers reported on their own involvement behaviors (positive engagement activities, warmth and responsiveness, control, indirect care, and process responsibility), and adolescents reported their internalizing and externalizing symptoms. ^ Bivariate correlations and reliability analyses indicated that the five components of father involvement in Pleck’s model share more commonality for fathers than for mothers. Next, multiple regression analyses indicated that, while controlling on fathers’ self-reports, mothers who reported higher levels of warmth and responsiveness and control had adolescent children with fewer internalizing symptoms. Fathers’ self-reports of all five involvement constructs were not significantly related to either internalizing or externalizing symptoms. Results also indicated that, while controlling on all mother-reported constructs of involvement, more maternal warmth and responsiveness was related to fewer adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms. In addition, while controlling on all father-reported constructs of involvement, higher levels of paternal positive engagement activities and lower levels of indirect care were related to lower levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms, respectively. ^ When investigating the moderating effects of adolescent gender on the relationships between parental involvement and adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms, results indicated that the relationship between maternal process responsibility and adolescent externalizing symptoms was significant for boys but not significant for girls. In addition, the relationships between paternal warmth and responsiveness and adolescent externalizing symptoms, paternal control and adolescent internalizing symptoms, paternal indirect care and adolescent externalizing symptoms, and paternal process responsibility and adolescent externalizing symptoms was significant for boys but not significant for girls.^

Subject Area

Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Temmen, Chelsie D, "The Influence of Father and Mother Involvement on Adolescent Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10980133.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI10980133

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