Immediate Influence

Positive role modeling

Parent construct: Caring parents

Parents are important role-models for their children. Children and adolescents learn through observation and modeling of behavior.1,2 Parental role modeling includes modeling beliefs and attitudes as well as overt behavior. By watching and interacting with their parents, children and adolescents learn what behaviors and beliefs are acceptable and valued by the family.3 Children and adolescents who are exposed to family and community violence are more likely to engage in violent behavior. Additionally, children and adolescents exposed to parental substance use, including smoking, alcohol use, and other substance use, are more likely to also engage in these behaviors.4


  1. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.  

  2. Bandura, A. (1986). From thought to action: Mechanisms of personal agency. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 15(1), 1-17.  

  3. Whitbeck, L. (1999). Primary socialization theory: It all begins with the family. Substance Use & Misuse, 4,1025-1032.  

  4. Richter, L., & Richter, D.M. (2001). Exposure to parental tobacco and alcohol use: Effects on children's health and development. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 71(2), 182-203.