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Parental Rule Socialization for Preventive Health and Adolescent Rule Compliance


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    Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa, 127 Becker Communication Studies Building, Iowa City, IA 52242.

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    Department of Communication, Carroll University, 100 NE Avenue, Waukesha, WI 53186.

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    Department of Communication Studies, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N Warner Street #1026, Tacoma, WA 98416-1026.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022 (


This study examined family rules about nutrition, exercise, and sun protection in 164 parent–young adult children dyads. Both parents and their young adult children independently reported on health rules that they perceived throughout their child's adolescent years and the extent to which the rules were articulated, violations sanctioned, and modeled. Neither child nor parent perceptions of rule-related communication during adolescence predicted current young adult behaviors for any of the 3 health domains. Perceived rule compliance during adolescence was predicted from rule articulation across health domains, whereas patterns for sanctioning and parental modeling varied by health domain. Parents reported higher rule articulation than was perceived by their children across health domains and selectively reported higher scores on both sanctioning and modeling.