CFD 3240 Lecture 18: Adolescents

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Child and Family Development
CFD 3240

Adolescents’ Attachment to Their Parents • As the adolescent is transforming from child to adult, parents should remain a source of: ○ love, support, protection, and comfort. • Secure attachment to parents during adolescence is related to: ○ higher self-esteem, better physical health, positive social relations, and higher levels of competence • Insecure attachment to parents during adolescence is related to: ○ depressive symptoms, low levels of self-esteem, and negative social relations, as well as a greater tendency to use illegal substances • The best way for parents to promote attachment is by being responsive to their adolescents’ feelings Gender differences in the effects of parental closeness • Father (but not mother) connectedness and involvement has been negatively associated with ○ adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing behaviors • Mother (but not father) connectedness and involvement has been positively related to ○ adolescents’ prosocial behaviors and hope Parental Influences on Adolescent Self-Esteem • Perceived rejection by parents is a risk factor for low self-esteem and problematic behaviors • Adolescents whose parents provide love and encouragement have higher levels of self esteem • Higher self-esteem levels of adolescents are linked to the authoritative parenting pattern ○ The parents’ consistent support helps adolescent feel that they matter • High levels of positive parental involvement also predict higher levels of adolescent self-esteem ○ One parent’s involvement grows stronger in the presence of the high- quality involvement of the second parent The Role of Parents in the Adolescent Quest for Identity • Family interactions have a strong impact on the identity formation of adolescents • Adolescents are better able to explore identity issues in families where disagreements with parents are permitted ○ An aspect of authoritarian parenting • Parent-adolescent communication fosters the exploration of identity by encouraging the exploration of identity alternatives • Parental communication focused on helping adolescents to understand themselves better also promotes identity exploration The Identity Quest of Adolescents in Ethnic Minority Cultures • The identity quest for ethnic minority adolescents is likely to be more complicated • It is important that their parents help their adolescents to have pride in their ethnic minority membership • Parents need to be sensitive to, and supportive of, the unique identity challenges faced by their adolescent children • Those parents who promote their adolescent children’s bicultural identity ○ preserve ethnic traditions so that their children have pride in their ethnic heritage ○ and simultaneously provide support for their children’s membership in the mainstream culture Parental Support of the Identity Quest of their Gay and Lesbian Adolescents
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