Presentation on theme: "Turmoil in Families? Early theorists saw family relationships with adolescents as tumultuous –Separation from parents in order to develop as own person."— Presentation transcript:
Turmoil in Families? Early theorists saw family relationships with adolescents as tumultuous –Separation from parents in order to develop as own person leads inevitably to conflict –Hormonal changes trigger incestuous feelings –Thus adolescents must distance themselves Based on clinicians’ experiences, which involve a biased sample
Continuity in Families Research with normal adolescents generally finds continued close parent-teen relationships Conflicts do become more frequent, but do not necessarily increase emotional distance The most autonomous adolescents say parents are important influences, and seek their advice Most teens do not see major problems with parents, and believe parents are proud of them
Changes in Time With Family Larson et al (1996): 5th graders spend 35% of waking hours with families, but 12th graders spend only 14% time with families Decreases in family time were not related to increased conflict, or decreased closeness. Early adolescents: greatest proportion of non-family time spent alone in their room Later adolescents: non-family time spent outside the home (activities, friends, etc.)
One-On-One Time With Parents 12th graders spend as much time alone with each of their parents as do 5th graders. –That suggests effort are made to maintain the relationship (since less time is available overall) Older teens press for more influence in the family. Conversations with parents become more mutual: e.g., older teens report they influence the direction of conversations as much as their parents do
Parenting styles: Baumrind Styles vary along two dimensions: –Reponsiveness: Sensitivity, supportiveness, love, involvement Demandingness: Degree to which parents set down rules/expectations, and require compliance. Also includes supervision of activities, monitoring their whereabouts Responsiveness High Low Demandingness HighLow Authoritative Authoritarian Indulgent Neglectful
Parent-Teen Communication Because of adolescents’ wishes for more autonomy and decision-making privileges, communication problems often arise. Typically, teen demands more freedom Parents’ often respond with commands (or couching commands as suggestions), issue warnings, and moralize (e.g., “you should”) Helpful if parents can (a) actively listen and be curious and (b) be aware of their own experience while (c) keeping healthy boundaries
Communication Training It’s Saturday. Tim is told he has to get up to leave for a basketball game. Typical exchange: Tim: Do I have to get up? Dad: Yes, you have a basketball game remember? Tim: I don’t feel like it. I’m tired, and I want to see my friends today. Dad: Tim, you made a commitment to play, and you have to keep your commitments. You owe it to your team to get up and be there. Tim: Yeah, but it’s not any fun, I want to have fun today. Dad: What do you mean, it’s not any fun. You love playing basketball. C’mon, you’re just wasting time.
Communication: Good Listening Active listening exchange: Tim: Do I have to get up? Dad: You don’t feel like playing basketball today? Tim: I won’t have any time to hang around with my friends. Dad: You’d rather hang around with your friends than play basketball? Tim: Yeah, it’s more fun. Dad: It’s not fun to play basketball? Tim: No, sometimes the guys get on me if I lose my dribble. Dad: You don’t like it when they do that? Tim: It makes me feel like I suck at basketball. Dad: You’d like to be good at basketball? Tim: Yeah, I mean it’s cool when I play well. Dad: Would you like to practice dribbling before the game?
Conflict: Whose Domain Is It In? During adolescence, parental authority usually shifts in some domains, but not all Conflict arises over which issues lay in which domains: i.e., is the problem in a domain over which parents still have ultimate power? Or not? (“I should have the right to decide...”) Issues are often the same in pathological families (e.g., suicidal) as in normal families
Issues Concerning Parental Authority Moral Issues –Lying to parents –Breaking promise to parents Conventional Issues –Not doing assigned chores –Eating with elbows on table Personal Issues –Spending allowance money on computer games –Listening to heavy metal music Multifaceted issues (both personal and conventional) –Girl wearing heavy makeup –Not cleaning one’s room Friendship Issues –Having a party when parents are away –Seeing a friend who parents do not like Prudential Issues –Drinking alcohol –Smoking cigarettes Blue=Parents’ Domain Green = Teen’s Domain Orange=Contested