Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

August 2006


Published in Social Development 15:3 (August 2006), pp. 480-500. Copyright © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Used by permission. "The definitive version is available at"


Research suggests that adolescents’ ratings of the appropriateness of parental reactions are influenced by several constructs, including adolescents’ perceptions of the type of parental reaction, the emotions felt by the adolescent and parental intentions. However, little is known regarding how these constructs are differentially predictive of appropriateness in different socialization contexts. One hundred and twenty-two adolescents (mean age = 16.87 years) answered questions regarding past situations in antisocial and prosocial contexts, and in moral and conventional domains. Different parental reactions were reported across moral and conventional domains. In addition, the appropriateness of parental responses varied across domain. Namely, in antisocial contexts, parental responses of yelling and punishing were seen as more appropriate in moral than conventional domains. In prosocial contexts, no action from the parent was seen as less appropriate in conventional than moral domains. In addition, adolescents’ perceptions were more strongly associated with adolescents’ ratings of appropriateness in conventional than moral social domains. These findings highlight the importance of considering both moral context and social domain when examining adolescents’ perceptions of appropriate parental reactions and internalization of values.