Parental involvement in adolescent romantic relationships: Patterns and correlates

Marni L. Kan, Susan M. McHale, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study examined dimensions of mothers' and fathers' involvement in adolescents' romantic relationships when offspring were age 17. Using cluster analysis, parents from 105 White, working and middle class families were classified as positively involved, negatively involved, or autonomy-oriented with respect to their adolescents' romantic relationships. Patterns of parental involvement were generally not associated with parent-offspring relationship quality at about adolescent age 13, but earlier parent-offspring relationship quality moderated the associations between parental involvement and adolescent romantic experiences at about age 18. Positive parent-offspring relationship quality buffered the effects of negative parental involvement, whereas poorer parent-offspring relationship quality was a more adaptive context for adolescents of autonomy-oriented parents. Discussion focuses on the importance of parenting practices in adolescent romantic relationships and the emotional climate of parent-offspring relationships as a developmental context for those practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-179
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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