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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (2) : 211-225     DOI:
The Effects of Parenting Styles and Temperament on Adolescent Aggression: Examining Unique, Differential, and Mediation Effects
LI Dong-Ping;ZHANG Wei;LI Dan-Li;WANG Yan-Hui;ZHEN Shuang-Ju
(1 School of Educational Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
(2 School of Education Science, Jiaying University, Meizhou 514015, China)
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Abstract  Youth aggression is a worldwide public health problem. Understanding the antecedents of aggression is the precursor of any successful prevention and intervention. A large body of literature shows that parenting styles and temperament are closely related to aggressive behaviors in adolescence. However, our understanding of the association among these variables is limited in several ways. First, there is a paucity of research that examines the unique effects of parenting styles and temperament on aggression. Second, work is needed that distinguishes different forms of aggression (i.e., direct vs. indirect aggression) and examines the similarity of and differences among the antecedents of these behaviors. Third, the existing research is not clear about the underlying mechanisms in the relationship between parenting styles, temperament, and aggressive behaviors.
The purpose of the present study is to investigate: 1) the unique and differential associations of parenting styles and temperament with direct and indirect aggression in adolescence; 2) whether adolescents’ normative beliefs about aggression mediates the relationship between parenting styles or temperament, and direct and indirect aggression.
Participants were 660 middle school students (mean age = 14.14 years, 364 females) recruited from a southern province in mainland China. In school, participants completed Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire, Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire (Revised Version, Short Form), and Aggressive Beliefs and Behaviors in Adolescence Scale.
Multiple and multivariate regression analyses showed that (a) parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive) were not significantly associated with direct aggression, while temperamental characteristics (effortful control, anger/frustration, and sensation seeking) were uniquely associated with direct aggression. In contrast, parenting styles and temperament were both uniquely associated with indirect aggression. (b) Parenting styles were more strongly related to indirect aggression than to direct aggression. However, temperamental characteristics (anger/frustration and sensation seeking) were more strongly related to direct aggression than to indirect aggression. (c) Normative beliefs about direct aggression mediated the association between temperament and aggressive behaviors, while normative beliefs about indirect aggression mediated the association between parenting styles and temperament, and aggressive behaviors.
In conclusion, parenting styles are to some extent specifically related to indirect aggression, whereas temperamental characteristics are specifically related to direct aggression. Normative beliefs about aggression are important mediators in the relationship between parenting styles, temperament, and aggression in adolescence.
Keywords parenting styles      temperament      normative beliefs      direct aggression      indirect aggression      adolescents     
Corresponding Authors: ZHANG Wei   
Issue Date: 28 February 2012
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LI Dong-Ping
LI Dan-Li
WANG Yan-Hui
ZHEN Shuang-Ju
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LI Dong-Ping,ZHANG Wei,LI Dan-Li, et al. The Effects of Parenting Styles and Temperament on Adolescent Aggression: Examining Unique, Differential, and Mediation Effects[J]. , 2012, 44(2): 211-225.
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