Pathways to competence in childhood and adolescence: the role of parenting quality and social support
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AbstractA representative Canadian cohort from the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth was studied at three points in time when the young people were aged 10/11(.M=l0.47, N=2147), 12/13(M=12.42, N=1976), and 14/15(M=14.45, N=l 762). Both person-focussed analyses (independent t-tests and analyses of variance) and variable-based analyses (latent variable path models) were utilized to investigate the role of parenting quality and the young person's social support in contributing to their competence (emotional health and behavioural functioning) in relation to parent-related adversity over time. An index of parent-related adversity was created based upon six criteria: parental depression, marital dissatisfaction, parental illness, parent's undesirable unemployment, single parent status, and the presence of alcohol abuse in the family. Person-focussed results revealed that parent-related adversity at age 10/11 was related to both domains of child competence at that time. Parent reports of their own experiences of adversity at that time were also related to the children's view of their own externalizing behaviour two years later when the children were aged 12/13. However, by ages 14/15 there was no longer an observable relationship between adversity and competence. Analyses of variance were conducted on the data when the children were aged 10/11 with the dependent variable of child competence. Main effects were discovered for parenting quality (E.(1)=15.93, 12<.00l) and social support (E.(1)=6.50, 12<.05), but no interaction effects were revealed between either of these factors and adversity group. These findings supported the identification of parenting quality and social support as general resource variables for young people's competence, rather than protective variables in the face of parent-related adversity in this study. Variable-based analyses indicated that the proposed latent variable path model of resilience was not a particularly good fit with the data. However, a modified latent variable path model of competence with parenting quality and social support contributing to behavioural and emotional functioning was a strong fit for the data at ages 12/13 and became an even stronger fit at ages 14/15. Therefore, person-focussed and variable-based analyses in this study converged to highlight the value of parenting quality and social support for young people, regardless of their exposure to adversity.
Bibliography: p. 80-91