Program

Contributed Symposium
CS26-06-4

The Dynamic Interplay among Maternal Empathy, Quality of Mother-Adolescent Relationship, and Adolescent Antisocial Behaviors: New Insights from a Six-Wave Longitudinal Multi-Informant Study

[Speaker] Crocetti, Elisabetta:1
[Co-author] Moscatelli, Silvia:2, Van Der Graaff, Jolien:1, Keijsers, Loes:1,4, Van Lier, Pol:3, Koot, Hans M:3, Rubini, Monica:2, Meeus, Wim:1,4, Branje, Susan:1
1:Utrecht University (Netherlands), 2:University of Bologna (Italy), 3:VU University Amsterdam (Netherlands), 4:Tilburg University (Netherlands)

Adolescent moral behavior is often a matter of concern, given adolescents' increased likelihood of enacting antisocial behaviors, such as aggressive and delinquent acts. In this study, we sought to understand factors that could help preventing adolescent antisocial development by considering both mother-adolescent relationship quality and maternal empathy. Participants were 497 Dutch adolescents (56.9% males) followed from age 13 to 18, and their mothers. A series of cross-lagged panel models revealed that indicators of mother-adolescent relationship quality (balanced relatedness, support, and conflict) were reciprocally associated with adolescent antisocial behaviors. Moreover, maternal empathy was interrelated to mother-adolescent relationship quality. Interestingly, we also found that maternal empathy is influenced by the interaction with children. In fact, positive mother-adolescent relationship quality predicted relative increases in maternal empathy over time and also some support for a mediational effect was found, with adolescent antisocial behaviors lessening maternal empathy through the mediation of relationship quality.
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