Objective: To explore how parents of Indonesian adolescents conceptualize adolescence and to identify the challenges faced in parenting adolescents, focusing on parents from different sociodemographic backgrounds. Method: Focus group discussions (FGD) were undertaken with parents of adolescents aged 10–18 years old from different sociodemographic backgrounds (urban high socioeconomic; urban low socioeconomic; rural low socioeconomic) using a semi-structured interview guide. Content and thematic analysis were assisted by Nvivo version 12.6.0. Results: Forty-three parents participated in four FGD. All parents recognized that adolescence was a distinct developmental stage, reflected in changing behaviors, escalation of peer influences and sexual development. Parents from poor, rural backgrounds had relatively limited understanding of the emerging capabilities of adolescents and had a narrow repertoire of responses to challenging behaviors, with heavy reliance on religious rules and punishment. Parents from higher socioeconomic backgrounds displayed a wider range of warmer, more engaging approaches that they reported using to shape their children’s behaviors. Conclusion for practice: These findings highlight opportunities to enhance parenting skills, which appear most warranted in parents of adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds. Embedding basic adolescent parenting information within community programs appears indicated, and enhancing religious leaders’ understanding of different approaches to parenting could be helpful in more religious communities.
- Healthy development