Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

November 2002


Published in Journal of Adolescent Research 17:6 (Nov 2002), pp. 646-666. DOI: 10.1177/074355802237468 Copyright © 2002 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


Prior researchers confirmed socialization models depicting parenting practices and social cognitions associated with prosocial and antisocial behaviors. However, little research has focused on processes underlying the link between parenting and these behaviors. Per Grusec and Goodnow’s internalization model, children and adolescents develop expectancies regarding their parents’ reactions to their behaviors. Adolescents’ expected parental reactions to prosocial behaviors were hypothesized to predict prosocial behaviors; expectations regarding antisocial behaviors were expected to predict antisocial behaviors. For this study, 80 adolescents and their parents reported adolescents’ antisocial and prosocial behaviors. Adolescents completed a measure of prosocial moral reasoning and an assessment of how appropriately they expected each parent to react to prosocial and antisocial behaviors. Expected parental reactions to antisocial behavior predicted lower levels of delinquency and aggression (adolescent report). Expected parental reactions to prosocial behavior predicted higher levels of prosocial behavior (adolescent report) and lower levels of delinquency and aggression (mother report).