The association between negative inter-parental interaction in early adolescence and externalizing problem behavior in late adolescence.
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Parental behavior influences the behavior of an adolescent. Earlier research suggests that problematic behavior in adolescents may be caused by negative interaction between parents. The aim of this study is to map the association between negative inter-parental interactions in early adolescence and late adolescents’ externalizing problem behavior in Dutch families. In this study externalizing problem behavior is conceptualized as aggression, delinquency and substance abuse. A multivariate regression analysis was performed in N = 358 Dutch families with two parents and at least 1 adolescent child. The results show that there is no direct association between negative inter-parental inter- action and substance abuse and between negative inter-parental interaction and aggression. However, a significant association was found between negative inter-parental interaction and adolescent delinquency. These results confirm that interactions between parents influence adolescent behavior. Explanations for the outcomes and recommendations for further research are discussed.