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Families. Parent-Adolescent Conflict. Issues to Focus on…. Why is there a marked increase in parent-adolescent conflict? What do parents & adolescents argue about? How often do they argue? Cultural Differences?. “ Storm & Stress ”. Increased emotional & physical distancing from parents

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Parent-Adolescent Conflict

issues to focus on
Issues to Focus on…
  • Why is there a marked increase in parent-adolescent conflict?
  • What do parents & adolescents argue about?
  • How often do they argue?
  • Cultural Differences?
storm stress
“Storm & Stress”
  • Increased emotional & physical distancing from parents
  • Conflict increases at early adolescence and decreases by 18
  • Adolescents report more conflict than parents
  • Conflicts usually over everyday issues – dress codes, chores, sibs
  • Typically not intense or volatile & not indicative of major problems
  • Mother/daughter conflicts more frequent than other dyads
  • Small minority (5-10%) of families experience serious problems
NOT over important issues, rather over mundane things like chores, homework, getting along with siblings
  • Adolescents see issues as “personal”
  • Parents see issues as “social conventions”
Conflict between parents & adolescents relatively frequent with a distinct increase in conflict from early to mid-adolescence
  • Conflicts decline over adolescence…in part due to decline in amount of time spent with parents
  • What are other reasons that would explain decline in conflict?
two major caveats
Two Major Caveats…
  • Much of this research conducted on children already in adolescence

…What happens before they

enter adolescence?

  • The majority of research on parent-adolescent relationships conducted on White, middle class, two-parent families.

…What about families from different

ethnic and cultural backgrounds?

cultural differences in parent child relationships
Cultural Differences in Parent-Child Relationships
  • Both African-American & Latino families encourage family interdependence vs. independence (de-emphasize autonomy)
  • Both families emphasize obedience, dignity, and respect toward elders and parental authority (Garcia Coll et al., 1995)
  • Latino adolescents feel it is inappropriate to argue with or talk back to parents (Fuligni, 1998)
parent adolescent conflict in context
Parent-Adolescent Conflict In Context
  • Parent-adolescent conflict more frequent in White, middle-class families than in Mexican American families (Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco, 1996)
  • Less conflict reported by African American and Hispanic families than in Caucasian families (Barber, 1994)
  • Different belief systems do exist, but no differences in actual conflict

(Fuligni, 1998)

more recent findings on conflict
More Recent Findings on Conflict
  • Contrary to previous findings in conflict literature, conflict did not significantly increase over time
  • Conflict frequency and intensity similar across ethnic groups
respect for parental authority
Respect for Parental Authority
  • Significant ethnic group differences
  • Girls’ respect for parental authority did not significantly change over time

Respect for Parental Authority

  • Association between mother-reported conflict intensity and respect moderated by ethnicity at both time points
  • Respect is a salient issue for children and parents
    • Parent-child conflict
    • Ethnic/Cultural differences
    • Both in childhood and adolescence
  • Respect is differentially experienced by families of varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds
  • Respect may be associated with ‘Americanization’ phenomenon in immigrant families
  • Authoritarian Parenting Pattern

-Controlling – using standard set of rules

-Stress Obedience

-No “give-and-take”

-May use physical punishment

  • Authoritative Parenting Pattern

-Explain & discuss rules & expectations

-Maintains firm control

-Set high standards

-Encourage independence

-Respectful of child’s point of view

  • Indulgent parents behave in an accepting, benign, and somewhat more passive way
  • Indifferent parents try to minimize the time and energy that they must devote to interacting with their child
  • Limited to white, middle-class families
  • Not generalizable to families across different cultures
  • Does not take into account surrounding environment…ex: growing up in dangerous neighborhoods, cultural expectations, etc.
  • Some characteristics cut across categories…ex: discussion of rules not limited to authoritative parents
children of authoritarian parents
Children of Authoritarian Parents
  • Tend to lack social competence
  • Look at outside figures in making moral decisions
  • Lack spontaneity and intellectual curiosity
children of authoritative parents
Children of Authoritative Parents
  • More self-reliant and self-controlled
  • More willing to explore
  • More content
  • Better academic achievement
  • Lower problem behaviors
children of indulgent parents
Children of Indulgent Parents
  • Relatively immature
  • Difficulty controlling impulses
  • Difficulty accepting responsibility for social actions
  • Lack independence
limitations of baumrind s theory
Limitations of Baumrind’s Theory
  • Correlational
  • Biased toward white, middle-income/class
  • Is “style” stable?
  • Children’s later perceptions
are ideal parenting styles the same for all cultures
Are ‘Ideal’ Parenting Styles the same for ALL Cultures?
  • Authoritative parenting is less prevalent among African-American, Asian-American, or Hispanic-American families than among white families
  • Beneficial effects are found for all ethnic groups
are ideal parenting styles the same for all cultures1
Are ‘Ideal’ Parenting Styles the same for ALL Cultures?
  • Authoritarian parenting more common among ethnic minority families
  • Negative child outcomes not same as with White families with same parenting style
further research
Further Research
  • disciplinary parenting behaviors differentially experienced by families of differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds
  • African American and Latina mothers consistently endorse more restrictive, disciplinary parenting practices than European American mothers
    • But still nurturing
  • If more recent research is focusing on cultural differences with respect to parenting patterns, why does all of the current day literature still list AUTHORITATIVE parenting as optimal?
  • Ongoing debates in Parenting research & literature