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The Impact of Parenting on Risk Cognitions and Risk Behavior: A Study of Mediation and Moderation in a Panel of African American Adolescents

Authors


  • Michael J. Cleveland is now at Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

  • This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health (Grant MH62668).

concerning this article should be addressed to Michael J. Cleveland, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747. Electronic mail may be sent to mcleveland@umassd.edu.

Abstract

Hypotheses concerning the extent to which adolescents' cognitions mediate the relation between parenting behaviors and adolescent substance use were examined in a panel of African American adolescents (N=714, M age at Time 1=10.51 years) and their primary caregivers. A nested-model approach indicated that effective parenting (i.e., monitoring of the child's activities, communication about substances, and parental warmth) was related to adolescent substance use more than 5 years later. The parenting behaviors protected the adolescent from subsequent alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use through associations with two cognitive elements from the prototype/willingness model: favorable risk images (prototypes) and behavioral willingness. Additional analyses indicated that these protective effects were strongest among families residing in high-risk neighborhoods.

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