Research over the past 20 years suggests that the quality of the parent-adolescent relationship significantly affects the development of risk behaviors in adolescent health. The purpose of this paper is to present a review of studies published between 1996-2007 that address specific relationships between parenting styles and six priority adolescent risk behaviors. The review supports the substantial influence of parenting style on adolescent development. Adolescents raised in authoritative households consistently demonstrate higher protective and fewer risk behaviors than adolescents from non-authoritative families. There is also considerable evidence to show that parenting styles and behaviors related to warmth, communication and disciplinary practices predict important mediators, including academic achievement and psychosocial adjustment. Careful examination of parenting style patterns in diverse populations, particularly with respect to physical activity and unintentional injury, will be a critical next step in the development of efficacious, culturally tailored adolescent health promotion interventions.
adolescent behavior; risk-taking; adolescent health; parent-child relations