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How emerging adults communicate with their parents: Perceived specific roles of mothers and fathers Petr Macek*, Věra Juříčková**, & Ondřej Bouša* *Masaryk University, Brno, Silesian University**, Opava , Czech Republic . Starting points.

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    1. How emerging adults communicate with their parents: Perceived specific roles of mothers and fathersPetr Macek*, Věra Juříčková**, & Ondřej Bouša**Masaryk University, Brno, Silesian University**, Opava, Czech Republic

    2. Startingpoints • The process of separation and striving for autonomy of young individuals is strongly based on the negotiation with their parents.(e.g.Goosens, 2006; Beyers& Goossens,1999; Noack & Buhl, 2004; Beyers& Goossens, 2008). • Relationships with parents in the period of emerging adulthood are no longer asymmetrical as they were in childhood and adolescence.(e.g. Kins,Beyers,Soenens,Vansteenkiste, 2009; Buhl, 2007; Seiffke-Krenke, 2009; Macek, Bejček & Vaníčková, 2007). • In this sense, there is a rise in importance of direct communication and real negotiation between emerging adults and their parents.

    3. An open and symmetrical communication between emerging adults and their parents contributes to the clarification of mutual expectationsconcerning autonomy and separation (Kenyon & Koerner, 2009). The perception of parents’ relationships, including theircommunication strategies and patterns, is a strongpredictor of behavior and communication in their children’s partner relationships (Cui, Finchman, & Pasley, 2008; Simon & Furman, 2010).

    4. Aimsofresearch • A description of specific aspects (dimensions) of communication between emerging adults (EA) and their parents. • Assessment of communication with parents: Sex differences and gender stereotypes • Assessmentofrelationships to parentsandbetweenparents(functional/non-functional) • Howspecific aspects of mother’s and father’s communication can predict relationships toparentsandbetweenparents

    5. Participants • The sample included 385 young people (162 male, 223 female) aged 18 to 25. • University students (62%) • Workingfull-time(24%) • Unemployed respondents (13%).

    6. Measures We start with a qualitative study (emerging adults, n = 25) An essay about communication with their parents (introduced with these questions: „What is beneficial for your communication with parents, what pleases and satisfies you?“ and, on the contrary: „What slows the communication down, restricts and harms it?“) Content and thematic analysis, 29 topics were identified, which were classified into seven groups.

    7. Wecomparedwith: Measures developed for adolescents’ assessment of parents and for measuring the quality of family environment(Schaefer, 1965; Matějček & Říčan, 1983; Hargašová & Kollárik, 1992; Čáp & Boshek, 1994). Resultsregardingthe specifics of communication in the period of emerging adulthood. (Arnett, 2004; Konstam, 2007; Macek, Bejček , & Vaníčková, 2007).

    8. Measures • Inventory of communication with parents: 43 items related to • positive communication skills and strategies, • negative communication skills and strategies • autonomy and respect in communication, • demonstration of power, • experiential /emotional expressions of communication (crying, sadness, humor). All items were presented separatelly for mother and father, a four-point scale (disagreement - agreement). • The assessment of quality of the relationship with mother/father/ and between mother and father. The relationship was assessed as: • functional, • more or less neutral, • disturbed, • conflicting.

    9. Results I – Dimensionsofcommunication Father • Trust and support connected with humor • Insincerity and hurting • Communication fouls and demonstration of power • Openness and respect of individuality A principal axis factor analysis, varimax rotation Mother Trust and understanding Insincerity and distance Destructive and unpleasant communication Openness and respect

    10. Mother’s trust is more emotional, based on perceived mutual intimacy; father’s trust is connected more to acceptation, understanding and humor. • Mother’sinsincerityisconnectedwith negative emotional atmosphere, father’s insincerity is more concrete, connected with communication fouls.

    11. Results II: Assessment of communication with parents. Sex differences and gender stereotypes

    12. Results II: Assessment of communication with parents. Sex differences and gender stereotypes

    13. Results II: Assessment of communication with parents. Sex differences and gender stereotypes Young women and men present very similar assessment of parents in dimensions of communication (with an exception of trust). Mother is assessed as more trustworthy and more respecting her daughter/son than father.

    14. Result III - The assessment of functionality The original items regardingassessmentoffunctionality (mother/fatherandbetweenmotherandfather), offeredfour options: • functional, • more or less neutral, • disturbed, • conflictingrelationship A new dichotomic variable was formed: functional / non-functional relationship

    15. Results III - The assessment of functionality

    16. Results IV Howspecific aspects of mother’s and father’s communication can predict relationships toparentsandbetweenparents Hierarchical logistic regressionswere run to predict : • Functional relationship with mother • Functional relationship with father • Functional relationship between parents The following independent variables were included: • respondents’ sex, • mother’s communication dimensions, • father’s communication dimensions, • functional relationship of the other parent (who is not being assessed at the time).

    17. Mother Mother: Functionalrelationhipswith her Mother’s communication:Whichaspects Mother - Father: Functionalrelationhipsbetweenthem Father’s communication:Whichaspects Father: Functional relationhipswithhim

    18. Mother: predictorsoffunctionalrelationhipswith her Mother: Functionalrelationhipswith her Mother: Destructiveandunplesant (negatively) Trust and understanding Mother - Father: Functionalrelationhipsbetweenthem Father: Trust and support with humor (negatively) Father: Functional relationhipswithhim

    19. Functionality of the relationship to mother • Mother’s trust is basic, however, if relationship with mother is damaged, the importance of father’s trust rises – it is likely to fulfill a certain compensatory role here. • It is also up to the overall (functional) relationship with father and it is not so much dependent on the relationships between parents.

    20. Father Mother: Functionalrelationhipswith her Mother’s communication:Whichaspects Mother - Father: Functionalrelationhipsbetweenthem Father’s communication:Whichaspects Father: Functional relationhipswithhim

    21. Father: predictorsoffunctionalrelationhipswithhim Mother: Functionalrelationhipswith her Mother: : Insincerityand distance Mother - Father: Functionalrelationhipsbetweenthem Father: Insincerityandhurting (negat.) Trust with humor Com. foulsanddemonstration ofpower (neg.) Father: Functional relationhipswithhim

    22. The functionality of the relationship with father appears to depend, to a certain degree, also on the relationship with mother and on an intimate communication with mother. Sincerity on the part of mother plays a specific role here – if absent, it makes the functionality of the relationship to father more likely stronger. Nevertheless, at the same time it is important for the relationship to mother to be alright in other respects and for the relationship between parents to be perceived in a positive way. The functionality of the relationship with father • It is important for the relationship to father to be alright in communication with him. • Also, the relationship between parents is important to be perceived in a positive way. • It depends also on the relationship with mother and on an intimate communication with mother. Sincerity on the part of mother plays a specific role here – if absent, it makes the functionality of the relationship to father more likely stronger.

    23. Mother – Fatherrelationship Mother Functionalrelationhipswith her: Mother’s communication:Whichaspects Mother - Father: Functionalrelationhips Father’s communication:Which aspects Father: Functional relationhipswithhim

    24. Mother – Father: Predictorsoffunctionalrelationship Mother Functionalrelationhipswith her: Mother’scommunication Mother - Father: Functionalrelationhips Father’s communication: Comm. fouls and demonstr. of power (neg.) Openness and respect Father: Functional relationhipswithhim

    25. Mother – Father: Predictorsoffunctionalrelationship • When assessing the partner relationship between parents, the specific role of father/partner becomes evident. • It depends mainly on his behavior whether the relationship between parents is assessed as functional or dysfunctional.

    26. Conclusion • The functionality of relationships to parents is seen as an important factor. As our results show, family is a complex system and each parent’s functionality depends on a certain balance of communication and quality of mutual relationships. • Trust, sincerity, and mutual respect are the basic stones for symetrical communication

    27. Emergingadultbalances his/her boat on theopenedseaof his/her independent life. • In regard to positive developmentof autonomy, motherrepresents a safe home port, father a goodwind to sails.