Cross-sectional data from 1359 boys and girls aged 10-14 years investigated whether parenting behaviours are directly or indirectly (through building self-control) associated with emotional (depression, stress, low self-esteem) and behavioural (delinquency, aggression) problems among adolescents. Replicating existing findings, both types of problems were directly, negatively related to adaptive parenting behaviour (high parental acceptance, strict control and monitoring, and little use of manipulative psychological control). Extending existing findings, self-control partially mediated the link between parenting behaviour and adolescent emotional and behavioural problems. Contrary to earlier suggestions, there was no sign that high self-control was associated with drawbacks or increased risk of psychosocial problems. © 2005 The International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development.