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Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Development Studies | Family and Consumer Sciences


Guided by social learning theory, this longitudinal study examined whether parent–child recurring conflict mediated the association between parental anger management, an understudied antecedent to parent–child recurring conflict, and adolescent deviant and problem-solving behaviors in 415 rural families. Parental use of anger management in 6th grade was associated with less parent–child recurring conflict in 9th grade, which was associated with more adolescent problem-solving behavior in 11th grade. Family practitioners seeking to promote adolescent problem-solving behaviors may consider teaching families strategies for reducing parent–child recurring conflict and fostering parental anger management.


Author notes

Erin Donohue, PhD, is a visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

Linda C. Halgunseth, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University.

Sarah M. Chilenski, PhD, is an Associate Research Professor in the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, College of Health and Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University.

Daniel F. Perkins, PhD, is a Professor of Youth and Family Resiliency and Policy in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education at The Pennsylvania State University.

Address correspondence to Erin Donohue, Department of Psychology, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, 37 South College Avenue, St. Joseph, MN 56374; e-mail:

Author contributions:

Erin Donohue conducted the data analysis and wrote the article for publication.

Linda C. Halgunseth planned and supervised the data analysis and contributed to revising the article for publication.

Sarah M. Chilenski supervised data analysis and revised the article for publication.

Daniel F. Perkins revised the article for publication.