Congruence and Incongruence in Adolescents’ and Parents’ Perceptions of the Family: Using Response Surface Analysis to Examine Links with Adolescents’ Psychological Adjustment

Lauren J. Human*, Melanie A. Dirks, Anita DeLongis, Edith Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parents and adolescents often hold discrepant views about the family environment and these discrepancies may in turn influence adolescents’ psychological adjustment. The current study examined how adolescent–parent perceptions of family routines and chaos, and their congruence and incongruence, relate to adolescents’ self-reported psychological adjustment (depressive symptoms and perceived stress), both concurrently (Ndyads = 261; 53 % female) and 2 years later (Ndyads = 118; 50 % female). Using polynomial regression and response surface analysis, results indicated that adolescents’ perceptions of the family environment were a stronger predictor of adolescents’ adjustment than parents’ perceptions (76 % mothers), concurrently and over time. However, both congruence and incongruence in adolescent–parent perceptions were also related to adolescents’ adjustment. Specifically, congruently negative adolescent–parent perceptions were associated with worse concurrent adolescent adjustment. Further, incongruence defined by more negativity in adolescents’ versus parents’ perceptions was associated with worse adolescent psychological adjustment, concurrently and over time. In sum, in addition to the strong links between adolescents’ perceptions of the family and their own psychological adjustment, examining how congruent and incongruent adolescents’ perceptions are with parents’ perceptions may shed additional light on how the family environment relates to adolescent adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2022-2035
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume45
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescent psychological adjustment
  • Adolescent–parent discrepancies
  • Family chaos
  • Family routines
  • Polynomial regression
  • Response surface analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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