Parental and religious influences on adolescent empathy and antisocial behavior among Latino and Euro-American youth: An investigation of mediating and moderating effects



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Utilizing structural equation modeling, this research investigated the socialization variables of Parenting and Religiosity and their relationship with Adolescent Antisocial Behavior. The potential mediating and moderating effects that Empathy, Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status (SES), Gender and Family Structure played in the relationship between the previously mentioned socialization variables and Antisocial Behavior were also explored. Findings suggest that Adolescent Religiosity and facilitative Parenting (high levels of Parental Support and Parental Behavior Control combined with low levels of Parental Psychological Control) both display significant unidirectional relationships with Adolescent Empathy and Adolescent Antisocial Behavior. It was further determined that Empathy did not mediate the relationship between socialization variables (Parenting and Adolescent Religiosity) and Adolescent Antisocial Behavior. In addition, Ethnicity, SES and Family Structure were shown to significantly moderate numerous pathways in the overall model. However, upon further investigation it was identified that very few moderated pathways were identified between the main latent factors in the model. Instead, it was identified that the relationships between many of the demographic variables and latent factors in the model displayed significant moderated pathways. Clinical implications are offered and the results of this study provide relevance to the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy as a whole.



Antisocial behavior, Empathy, Parenting, Adolescents, Structural equation modeling (SEM), Latino