In adolescence, youth antisocial behaviors reach a peak. Parents can use different strategies, such as parental solicitation and control, to monitor their children's activities and try to prevent or reduce their antisocial behaviors. However, it is still unclear if, and for which adolescents, these parental monitoring behaviors are effective. The aim of this study was to examine if the impact of parental solicitation and control on adolescent antisocial behaviors depends on adolescent empathy. In order to comprehensively address this aim, we tested the moderating effects of multiple dimensions (affective and cognitive) of both trait and state empathy. Participants were 379 Dutch adolescents (55.9% males) involved in a longitudinal study with their fathers and mothers. At T1 (conducted when adolescents were 17-year-old) adolescents filled self-report measures of antisocial behaviors and trait empathy during one home visit, while their state empathy was rated during a laboratory session. Furthermore, parents reported their own monitoring behaviors. At T2 (conducted 1 year later, when adolescents were 18-year-old), adolescents reported again on their antisocial behaviors. Moderation analyses indicated that both affective and cognitive state empathy moderated the effects of parental solicitation on adolescent antisocial behaviors. Results highlighted that solicitation had unfavorable effects on antisocial behaviors in adolescents with high empathy whereas the opposite effect was found for adolescents with low empathy. In contrast, neither state nor trait empathy moderated the effects of control on adolescent antisocial behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
|Journal||Frontiers in Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Nov 2016|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Data of the Research on Adolescent Development and Relationships (RADAR) study were used for this study. RADAR has been financially supported by main grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (GB-MAGW 480-03-005 and GB-MAGW 480-08-006) and Stichting Achmea Slachtoffer en Samenleving (SASS), and various other grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the VU University Amsterdam, and Utrecht University. Furthermore, this study was supported by grants to WM and the Consortium Individual Development (CID, grant number 024.001.003) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). EC received support for preparing this article by a grant from NWO (431-14-014) assigned to SB. SM and MR received support for working on this article by a grant from the Italian Ministry of Research and Education, University and Research FIRB 2012 (Protocollo RBFR128CR6_004) assigned to SM.
© 2016 Crocetti, Van der Graaff, Moscatelli, Keijsers, Koot, Rubini, Meeus and Branje.