Perceptions of the parent - Adolescent relationship: A longitudinal investigation

Matt Mc Gue, Irene Elkins, Brent Walden, William G Iacono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


A self-report measure of conflict and aspects of warmth in the parent-child relationship was completed by 1,330 11-year-old twins, 1,176 of whom completed the inventory again 3 years later. On average, adolescents' perceptions of the quality of the parent-child relationship declined consistently and moderately between age 11 and age 14. Conflict with parents increased, whereas all aspects of warmth decreased; changes were significantly greater for girls than boys. Variances increased with age, primarily because of increases in the magnitude of genetic effects. Heritability estimates ranged from .09 to .31 at intake and .35 to .45 at follow-up and tended to be higher for boys than girls. Changes in the parent-child relationship are interpreted as reflecting genotype-environment correlation processes whereby adolescents increasingly influence their relationships with their parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-984
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Adolescence
  • Gender differences
  • Gene-environment interplay
  • Longitudinal research
  • Parent-child relationship

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