Adolescent Relationships with Parents and Peers

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Kerr’s article notes that a sense of security with an attachment figure seems to instill the positive self-image in which a person feels good about him or herself in a variety of areas that either promote or discourage positive relationship between adolescents and their respective parents.

The evidence of the changes in peer and parent-child relationships during early adolescence suggests that early adolescence is a critical period of transformation in children's relationships. Early adolescents may orient toward peers while distancing themselves from their parents because their peer relationships fit some of their developmental needs better than their relationships with their parents. The waxing of peer orientation and the waning of closeness with parents, however, does not appear to be permanent. In addition, parent-child relationships, instead of being discarded during early adolescence, appear to be renegotiated into more interdependent relationships during middle and late adolescence. This decreased closeness during early adolescence seems to be temporary. Most early adolescents do not wish to withdraw completely from their relationships with their parents. Instead, they want greater control over their own lives and their personal decision making.

The influence of parents on their children's peer relations is not limited to childhood but continues throughout the adolescent years. Little is, however, known about which mechanisms link adolescent functioning in family and peer systems. This study focuses on social skills as a mediator between characteristics of the parent-child relationship and peer relations. Findings showed that adolescents' social skills mediated the effects of some parental practices, such as responsiveness, autonomy, cohesion, as well as parental attachment on the degree of peer activity, the attachment to peers and perceived social support from peers to some extent. Nonetheless, direct parental influence on peer relations remained...
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