Cross-lagged relations among parenting, children’s emotion regulation, and psychosocial adjustment in early adolescence.


Numerous studies have reported substantive correlations between indicators of parenting, children’s emotion regulation (ER), and children’s psychosocial adjustment. However, studies on underlying mechanisms are scarce. Particularly in early adolescence, it is still unclear whether relations between parenting and ER are caused by adolescent behavior, by parent behavior, or by reciprocal processes. Moreover, it is unclear whether ER can be seen as an antecedent or a consequence of psychosocial adjustment. The aim of this study was to examine predictive relations among parenting and adolescents’ ER, and adolescents’ ER and psychosocial adjustment, respectively. We collected longitudinal, multiple informant data at two measurement occasions (Grade 6, Grade 7). All told, 1,100 adolescents (10-14 years) and their parents filled out questionnaires assessing responsiveness and psychological control, adolescents’ anger regulation, and adolescents’ problem and prosocial behavior. Cross-lagged analyses revealed reciprocal effects between parenting, ER, and adjustment for the parent and boys’, but not for the girls’, report. Moreover, relations were different for adolescents with versus without clinically elevated symptoms of psychopathology. Our findings support the assumption that reciprocal relations between parenting, ER, and psychosocial adjustment are likely to persist until early adolescence. Nevertheless, the moderating role of gender and psychopathology should be taken into account. Possible reasons for the different findings, and practical implications, are discussed.