Parenting a teenage can be a challenge, and may come with eye-rolling, anger outbursts, and conflicts. In the ADAPT project, we examine how parenting contributes to or hinders wellbeing of teenagers. Also, we study how teenager’s emotional behaviors may trigger certain behavioral responses of their parents. The key-idea behind this project is to seek for how families differ in these parent-teen dynamics.

Tailored family advice

For example, we will assess in how many families an increase in parental control is related to a decrease in the teenager’s problem behavior and in how many families we see the exact opposite: that an increase in parental control is followed by an increase in problem behavior. Moreover, we try to explain these differences between families. For example, it could be that parents who argue more often with their children might have less of a positive influence on their children compared to parents and children who have a harmonious relationship. Ultimately, this research project aims to obtain knowledge about how future parenting advice can be tailored to a family’s specific characteristics and dynamics.

Measuring at random moments per day

To achieve this, we employ a novel paradigm in parenting research: Experience Sampling Methods (ESM) on smartphones. By measuring at random moments per day how a teen is feeling, behaving and responding to parents, we obtain real-life observations of parent-teen dynamics. Using state-of-the-art statistical tools, we will combine these micro-level data with large scale surveys to assess how these short-time parent-teen dynamics relate to the development of teenagers’ wellbeing over months and years.

Project team

The team of the project consists of Dr. Loes Keijsers (Principal Investigator), Savannah Boele (PhD student), Anne Bülow (PhD student), Claire Laudij-van Koot (project manager), and is funded by a NWO-VIDI grant (personal grant to Loes Keijsers).

A TEDx talk about the project can be found here:

Written by: Loes Keijsers and Savannah Boele

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