The delicate balance between parental protection, unsupervised wandering, and adolescents’ autonomy and its relation with antisocial behavior. The TRAILS Study
In a large sample of early adolescents (T2: /N/ = 1007;/ M/ age = 13.50; 50.3% girls), the impact of parental protection and unsupervised wandering on adolescents’ antisocial behavior 2.5 years later was tested in this TRAILS study; gender and parental knowledge were controlled for. In addition, the level of biological maturation and having antisocial friends were included as possible moderators for the relation of parental protection and unsupervised wandering with adolescent antisocial behavior. The negative effect of protection on engagement in antisocial behavior held only for boys and for early-maturing adolescents, whereas the effect of unsupervised wandering was found only for boys and for adolescents who had antisocial friends. The results point to a delicate balance between parental protection and unsupervised wandering with respect to adolescents’ autonomy.