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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Further, we assess how parental monitoring may be modified by pubertal maturation and older sibling risky behavior. Data on delinquent peer affiliation, pubertal maturation, parental monitoring, older sibling risky behavior, and dating involvement were gathered through observations and surveys from adolescents, mothers, older siblings, and teachers.
Pubertal maturation was directly related to dating involvement for early daters. Findings emphasize the value of examining social and biological factors, in concert, over time. Romantic identity and sexual identity formation are key developmental tasks for adolescents—making involvement with, and the salience of, romantic interests increasingly important Furman, ; Hartup, These social timetable theories posit that early involved youth are not as equipped to handle compensated dating Eugene emotional demands of these relationships Neemann et al.
However, elucidating the context that promotes entry into relationships has important implications for both theory and prevention e.
Probably the most comprehensive investigation to date was conducted by Friedlander, Connolly, Pepler, and Craig in which they examined the t contributions of parental monitoring, pubertal maturation, and involvement with delinquent peers on timing of dating involvement among early adolescents over a 1-year period.
suggest that both delinquent peer affiliation and early pubertal maturation increased dating involvement, as well as poor parental monitoring for boys. This study represents an important step in more comprehensively examining social determinants of romantic involvement and builds upon their work in two important regards: 1 we assess the role of broader family poor parental monitoring and older sibling risky behaviorpeer, and biological i. The current paper is predicated on the notion that entrenchment with delinquent peers increases the likelihood of dating involvement among early adolescents, to the extent that peers compensated dating Eugene and escalate orientation toward other precocious behaviors.
Although it has compensated dating Eugene argued that peers play the most central role in the development of romantic relations Connolly et al. Specifically, we propose that each could independently or interactively have a direct or indirect association with dating involvement.
The transition to adolescence is often associated with an increase in the prevalence of antisocial behavior Steinberg et al. Although delinquent peers are central to the elaboration of delinquent behaviors, parent management plays a correspondingly important role Dishion et al. Despite the documented potency of parent management during the transition to adolescence especially parental monitoring on guiding adaptive adolescent behavior, there are only a few studies to date that have examined parental monitoring and dating involvement.
In their study of dating involvement, Friedlander et al. Despite some inconsistency in the literature on the salience of parenting strategies on timing of dating involvement, we hypothesize that parental monitoring is related to dating involvement largely through its influence on delinquent peer affiliation.
Siblings also have a veritably strong influence on adolescent behavior. Although this is the first investigation on dating to incorporate older sibling influence—by extension—one could hypothesize that older siblings would have a ificant role on adolescent dating. Thus, one possibility is that risky older sibling behavior may indirectly relate to dating through attraction to and involvement with delinquent peers.
Direct mechanisms are possible as well.
The current study moves beyond the question of whether parental monitoring and older sibling behavior play a role in dating involvement, but also tests the hypothesis that older sibling behavior may be incrementally more potent under conditions of poor parental monitoring. Thus, we hypothesized that having an older sibling who engages in delinquent or risky compensated dating Eugene, accompanied by poor parental monitoring, would increase the likelihood of entrenchment with delinquent peers and, in turn, entry into dating.
Many studies examining dating and its consequences have controlled for physical maturation or stage of pubertal development, although the link with adolescent dating has been inconsistent. Early pubertal maturation may not necessarily translate to risky behavior or directly to dating involvement ; rather, it is plausible that pubertal maturation is impactful when combined with poor parental monitoring, suggesting moderation.
The impact may also be developmentally constrained. Insofar as girls typically begin puberty at 10—11 years of age boys ages 11—12 years; Steinberg,it is likely that the effects of puberty would be most potent during the transition to adolescence. Thus, we hypothesized that early pubertal maturation in the context of poor parental monitoring would be related indirectly to dating involvement through delinquent peer affiliation. Second, we anticipated the effects of puberty to be stronger for those making the transition to adolescence.
A longitudinal model was explored, allowing us to examine prospective associations between family, biological and peer predictors T1and dating involvement in early adolescence T2while controlling for adolescent externalizing behavior potential confound, T1 as well as early dating involvement i.
Several hypotheses were examined. Although we anticipated older sibling behavior and pubertal maturation could be directly associated with dating, we anticipated these would exert their influence primarily through socialization processes i. More specifically, we anticipated that parental monitoring would be associated with dating involvement through delinquent peer affiliation, particularly for those experiencing early pubertal maturation and for those with an older sibling who engages in behaviors.
Although longitudinal pathways were of primary interest, cross-sectional associations between pubertal development, monitoring, older sibling behavior, and early dating T1 were anticipated. Families identified by area school districts as having 1 one child in public elementary school, 2 an older same-sex child in public middle compensated dating Eugene, and 3 a mother residing in the home. Families meeting these criteria were sent an introduction letter about the study with an option to receive no further contact.
The families on the contact list were screened for biological relatedness to confirm eligibility and invited to participate in a home visit to explain the study. At Time 2 T2approximately 3 years after the initial assessment, families were recontacted and asked to participate in a follow-up assessment. At T1, adolescents were, on average, Families and friends were informed that the study was interested in how children make the transition from elementary to middle school and the relationships children have with their siblings and friends during this time.
All adolescents had a friend participate at T1. At T2, adolescents were, on average, Teachers completed questionnaires on the adolescents and older siblings at T1 and T2. Participants were compensated for their time related to all assessments. The multimethod and multisource data for adolescent delinquent peer affiliation and the multisource data available for older sibling risky behavior allowed for the forming of latent constructs.
Potential indicators from the questionnaire data based on face validity and prior theoretical definitions were identified. Guided by the construct building strategy developed by Patterson and Bank, scale items were checked for internal consistency before calculating the scale by taking the mean or sum of items. Scales or indicators were then examined for convergence with other indicators for the same construct.
Family, peer, and pubertal determinants of dating involvement among adolescents
Indicators were standardized before combining into construct scores. Correlations among construct indicators and variables are in Table 1. The correlation between mother and adolescent report of mother monitoring was. A construct for risky behavior was defined by three indicators: delinquent behavior, delinquent peer affiliation, and dating involvement.
Delinquent behavior represented mother, teacher, and older sibling reports of delinquent behavior. Lastly, older siblings reported on their own delinquency using the Elliott Delinquency Scale 27 items; Elliott et al. Delinquent peer affiliation was derived from older sibling report 21 items from the Describing Friends Questionnaire; e.
Lastly, dating involvement was measured using self-report on one item: Have you ever dated or gone out? A construct for delinquent peer affiliation was defined by four indicators that represented mother, teacher, and adolescent reports of the degree to which the adolescent associated with friends who got in trouble, participated in antisocial activities, used substances, and observed antisocial talk during adolescent and friend interaction.
The correlation between mother and teacher report of adolescent externalizing behavior was. Dating involvement was measured using adolescent report on one item: Have you ever dated or gone out? Hereafter, we refer to T1 dating compensated dating Eugene as early dating involvement and T2 as dating involvement.
Modeling analyses were conducted to determine the association of the distal predictors at T1 with delinquent peer affiliation and, in turn, dating involvement. Moderation by parental monitoring of pubertal maturation and older sibling behavior was examined by creating product terms and including those in the structural equation model as predictors.
It is reasonable to expect the relative salience of these predictors to vary by gender; however, we were underpowered to detect reliable differences by gender given the dichotomous nature of dating involvement and the of adolescents involved in dating at T1 and T2. All structural equation models were estimated using full information maximum likelihood and included participants with partial data AMOS 16; Arbuckle, Missing data were assumed to be missing at random MARconditional on covariates included in the model.
Formal mediation was tested using the Sobel test statistic.
Before testing the hypothesized structural model, we assessed the measurement model for factor loadings i. All factor loadings on indicators for their respective constructs were ificant and ranged from 0. Table 1which provides the correlations between variables in the model, in general, supports the hypothesized model. Moderation effects of parental monitoring on adolescent pubertal maturation or older sibling risky behavior at T1 were not ificant for dating involvement at T1 or T2.
Lastly, although the direct effects of adolescent pubertal maturation at T1 were not ificant for dating involvement at T2, pubertal maturation at T1 was positively associated with early dating involvement at T1. Adolescent dating involvement. Only ificant covariance paths are otherwise shown for ease of viewing.
Although dating involvement is a normative developmental milestone for most adolescents, involvement in dating before late adolescence has been associated with elevated risk for maladaptive outcomes.
Indeed, the majority of literature on adolescent dating has focused on consequences of involvement, with surprisingly little attention to comprehensively examining determinants of timing or onset of dating involvement Ivanova et al. The overarching goal of the current study was to advance our understanding of this ificant developmental transition by tly assessing the influence of family, peer, and biological factors on early adolescent dating involvement. More specifically, we proposed that more precocious pubertal maturation, older sibling risky behavior, and lower levels of parental monitoring would be associated with dating involvement by early adolescence, through delinquent peer affiliation as a candidate mediator.
In a more compensated dating Eugene contribution to the literature, we assessed the extent to which parental monitoring modifies the role of pubertal maturation and older sibling risky behavior i. Importantly, we assessed these relations while controlling for adolescent externalizing behavior T1 so as to reduce the possibility of spurious relations between family or biological predictors and onset of dating involvement during early adolescence T2.
Few studies have assessed family influences on timing of dating involvement; this may be the only study to consider the role of older sibling behavior on timing of dating involvement.
Our data suggest that both play a role and that poor parental monitoring and older sibling risky behaviors may accelerate adolescent dating involvement. The current study hypothesized that earlier maturing adolescents would be more likely to be involved in dating by early adolescence, in part because of attraction to and affiliation with older aged peers for whom dating is more normative.
Our findings suggest an association between pubertal maturation and entry into dating may be most pronounced for those who are early daters, as these effects were only evident for those in compensated dating Eugene childhood who were transitioning to adolescence average age, These models suggest that biological markers may play a direct role in the timing of dating involvement, at least early in adolescence. Perhaps these physical and hormonal changes are enough to catalyze autonomy seeking and sexual curiosity, regardless of delinquent peer group membership and reinforcement.
These data should be interpreted in light of how gender, as a context, may modify these associations.
Because of gender differences in the timing or sequence of pubertal changes, it is reasonable to postulate that physical maturation may have different sequelae for girls compared with boys, and puberty may remain important for boys transitioning to middle adolescence. Clearly, further studies are needed to examine how gender modifies the associations between pubertal timing and activities such as dating.
Aside from the diminishing role of biological maturation on timing of dating involvement, the current findings highlight the salient role of delinquent peer affiliation as a gateway to dating involvement. Taken together, these findings highlight the value of examining both social and biological factors, in concert, over time.
However, given that both dating and pubertal maturation occur on a continuum, and at different paces for boys and girls, longitudinal, transactional data are needed to further elucidate this dynamic association. The current study has notable strengths, including use of multiple reporters and multiple methods, and spans a 3-year developmental period.
As such, we have a more reliable sampling of behaviors and increased confidence in the observed associations.