Parenting practices, social skills and peer relationships in adolescence

Rutger C. M. E. Engels1, Maja Dekovic2, Wim Meeus1
1Utrect University, Netherlands
2University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cite this article:  Engels, R., Dekovic, M., & Meeus, W. (2002). Parenting practices, social skills and peer relationships in adolescence. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 30, 3-18.

Volume 30 Issue 1 | e1150 | Published: February 2002 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2002.30.1.3

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The influence of parents on their offsprings’ peer relations is not limited to childhood but continues throughout the adolescent years. Little is, however, known about which mechanisms link adolescent functioning in family and peer systems. This study focuses on social skills as a mediator between characteristics of the parent-child relationship and peer relations. Data from a cross-sectional study among 508 12-18-year olds were used for analyses. Findings showed that adolescents’ social skills mediated the effects of some parental practices, such as responsiveness, autonomy, cohesion, as well as parental attachment on the degree of peer activity, the attachment to peers and perceived social support from peers to some extent. Nonetheless, direct parental influence on peer relations remained apparent after controlling for the effects of social skills. No effects of gender and age were found. The overall picture is that social skills of adolescents as well as parenting factors, parental attachment and family climate are associated with the quality and intensity of peer relations.


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