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Master Science Thesis On Harsh or Inept Parenting

Harsh or Inept Parenting Youth Characteristics and Later Adjustment
Abstract Of Thesis: Despite most parents’ good intentions to provide a warm, supportive environment in which the child can grow and develop socially appropriate behavior, they might occasionally act toward their child in a negative or even harsh way. Some do this more consistently than others. This dissertation examined the relationships between harsh or inept parenting and children s characteristics in predicting various adjustment problems. The first aim of the dissertation was to examine if experienced harsh parental behavior is associated with adjustment problems for children from different cultures in a similar way. Study I showed that the effects of harsh parenting were very similar for children from different countries, but the magnitude of these effects differed. The second aim was to examine how parents and youths respond to each other over time. Studies II and III showed that youth characteristics influenced harsh or inept parenting and, to a lesser extent, parents’ behaviors could affect youth characteristics or behavior problems. The third aim of this dissertation concerns the role of child or youth characteristics in the link between harsh parenting and adjustment problems. Findings from Study II suggested that, youth characteristics might be responsible for both harsh parenting and problematic peer relationships, thus explaining the link between them. Studies IV and V showed that children s early unmanageable increased the risk of having more adjustment problems later in life only for some children. The fourth aim was to examine how the early characteristics of children who experience physical punishment in the context of parenting behaviors that communicate negative emotions affect later adjustment. The findings from Studies IV and V suggest that only for some children, those who experience certain combination's of harsh parental behavior, is early unmanageably a risk factor for social adjustment problems. Overall, the studies in this dissertation provide insights into the roles of harsh or inept parenting and youth characteristics in the development of various adjustment problems. Even though parents’ negative behaviors may affect youth social adjustment, youth characteristics and behaviors can strongly contribute to their own adjustment and to harsh or inept parenting.
Keywords: adolescent adjustment, harsh parenting, inept parenting, reciprocal interactions, youth characteristics, early unmanageable.
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