Background Parenting practices have been accepted as powerful risk factors for behaviour problems, even though previous studies have suffered from significant methodological problems, such as small, non-representative samples, cross-sectional study designs, poor control for confounders, and minimal consideration of paternal parenting. This study examined whether three, specific maternal and paternal parenting practices are associated with internalizing and externalizing behavioural problems in youth.
Methods A prospective, longitudinal, cohort study was conducted among 1641 seventh- and eighth-grade students from representative sample of middle school students. The measurements were the Korean Youth Self Report and the Childrearing Behavior Questionnaire (measuring three dimensions of parenting practice: warmth–acceptance, rejection–restriction and permissiveness–non-intervention). Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were performed.
Results Maternal rejection–restriction increased risks for internalizing problems (OR = 1.112), whereas paternal control–rejection increased risks for externalizing behavioural problem (OR = 1.125).
Conclusions Specific parenting practices showed differential associations with youth behaviour problems. These results suggest that further studies are necessary to understand the importance of unique and shared parenting practices as well as their interactions with other factors in the aetiology of youth behaviour problems. In the meantime, these findings point to therapeutic opportunities for both parents and their children.