Proactive parenting, Parenting practices, Early adolescence, Cluster analysis


The purpose of the current study was to explore clusters of proactive parenting practices, and how they might vary as a function of parental demographics, the quality of the parent– child relationship, and the traits and behaviors of the adolescent child. Data were taken from the Flourishing Families Project, which includes 500 families with an early adolescent child (M age ¼ 11.49). Findings suggested that there were four clusters of parents, and patterns were similar for mothers and fathers. Findings also suggested that proactive clusters varied primarily as a function of demographics of the parent (e.g., religiosity, ethnicity, education) and the traits and behaviors of the adolescent child (e.g., empathy, internalizing and externalizing behaviors). Discussion highlights the importance of using a typological approach to study parenting, and places particular emphasis on parents’ use of pre-arming (alone, or in conjunction with other practices) in an attempt to avoid misbehavior before it occurs.

Original Publication Citation

Padilla-Walker, L. M., *Christensen, K. J., & Day, R. D. (2011). Proactive parenting practices during early adolescence: A cluster approach. Journal of Adolescence, 34, 203-214.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Adolescence




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor