Adolescent Perceptions of Appropriate Parental Reactions in Moral and Conventional Social Domains


context; appropriateness; values; adolescence


Research suggests that adolescents’ ratings of the appropriateness of parental reactions are influenced by several constructs, including adolescents’ perceptions of the type of parental reaction, the emotions felt by the adolescent and parental intentions. However, little is known regarding how these constructs are differentially predictive of appropriateness in different socialization contexts. One hundred and twenty-two adolescents (mean age = 16.87 years) answered questions regarding past situations in antisocial and prosocial contexts, and in moral and conventional domains. Different parental reactions were reported across moral and conventional domains. In addition, the appropriateness of parental responses varied across domain. Namely, in antisocial contexts, parental responses of yelling and punishing were seen as more appropriate in moral than conventional domains. In prosocial contexts, no action from the parent was seen as less appropriate in conventional than moral domains. In addition, adolescents’ perceptions were more strongly associated with adolescents’ ratings of appropriateness in conventional than moral social domains. These findings highlight the importance of considering both moral context and social domain when examining adolescents’ perceptions of appropriate parental reactions and internalization of values.

Original Publication Citation

Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Carlo, G. (2006). Adolescent perceptions of appropriate parental reactions in moral and conventional social domains. Social Development, 15, 480-500.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Social Development




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor