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Ge, Xiaojia; Conger, Rand D.; Lorenz, Frederick O.; Shanahan, Michael J.; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (1995). Mutual Influences in Parent and Adolescent Psychological Distress. Developmental Psychology, 31(3), 406-419.


Using a cross-lagged effect model with 3 waves of panel data, this study examined mutual influences in parent and adolescent psychological distress reported independently by respondents in each of 4 parent–child dyads: mothers–sons, mothers–daughters, fathers–sons, and fathers–daughters. Results showed that parent and adolescent distress were reciprocally related across time, even after earlier emotional status was statistically controlled. These mutual influences in distress, however, were gender specific, with the strongest cross-lagged associations occurring between mothers and sons and fathers and daughters. Moreover, boys were more susceptible to parental distress during early adolescence, girls during early to mid-adolescence. Incremental fit comparisons for alternative models suggest that a son's distress may have more negative consequences for mothers than the reverse. Finally, mutual influences in psychological distress for fathers and daughters were more pronounced for girls who were experiencing the onset of menarche and for girls who recently experienced a school transition.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Developmental Psychology


Ge, Xiaojia
Conger, Rand D.
Lorenz, Frederick O.
Shanahan, Michael J.
Elder, Glen H., Jr.