Indicators of Positive Development Conference
March 12-13, 2003
Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference Center
Elizabeth Hair, Kristin Moore, Sarah Garrett, Akemi Kinukawa, Laura Lippman, and Erik Michelsen, Child Trends
Historically, and across diverse cultures and regions, parents have been identified as central influences in the development of their children. Today, despite controversy over the role and importance of parents (Harris, 2002), considerable research indicates that the parent-child relationship is important in the lives of infants, children, young adolescents and teens. Regardless of age, children need parents. Indeed, across multiple studies, it appears that the quality of the parent-child relationships is one of the more important factors in determining what kind of behaviors and attitudes adolescent adopt across domains such as health, education, reproductive behaviors, social interactions, and problem behaviors (Hair, Jager, & Garrett, 2001).
The purpose of this paper is to suggest a brief but psychometrically sound measure of the relationship between resident parents, both fathers and mothers, and their adolescent children. Reflecting our interest in outcomes for and from the perspective of children, we use a measure that is reported by the adolescent. Analyses in this paper examine the psychometric properties of the resident parent-adolescent relationship scale employed in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth – 1997, as well as elucidate the apparent effects of the resident parent-adolescent relationship on the subsequent activities and behaviors of the teens.