This study examined whether the quality of parent-adolescent interactions moderate the association between stressful life events and internalizing and externalizing problems in referred adolescents (N=101, M age 13.41 years, SD=1.81). Adolescents and their parents reported on psychological problems at the time of referral and 4 years later. At follow-up parents reported on stressful life events and an interaction task was conducted to observe autonomy and relatedness promoting behaviors. For adolescents exposed to stressful events, levels of internalizing and externalizing problems went up except if observed parent-adolescent interactions were characterized by high autonomy and relatedness. The results implied that autonomy and relatedness protect adolescents against the deleterious effects of stressful life events. These findings build on previous research showing for psychologically vulnerable adolescents that parenting that promotes autonomy while maintaining relatedness is associated with resilience in times of stress. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Research on Adolescence © 2010 Society for Research on Adolescence.