African American Adolescent Girls in Impoverished Communities: Parenting Style and Adolescent Outcomes

Laura D. Pittman*, Lindsay Chase-Lansdale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The relationship between parenting style and adolescent functioning was examined in a sample of 302 African American adolescent girls and their mothers who lived in impoverished neighborhoods. Although previous research has found that authoritative parenting, as compared with authoritarian, permissive, and disengaged parenting, is associated with positive adolescent outcomes in both European American, middle-class and large multiethnic school-based samples, these parenting categories have not been fully explored in African American families living at or near poverty level. Data were collected from adolescent girls and their self-identified mothers or mother figures using in-home interviews and self-administered questionnaires. Parenting style was found to be significantly related to adolescent outcome in multiple domains including externalizing and internalizing behaviors, academic achievement, work orientation, sexual experience, and pregnancy history. Specifically, teens whose mothers were disengaged (low on both parental warmth and supervision/monitoring) were found to have the most negative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-224
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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