The Role of parents of adolescents at different stages By victoria mancha
When teenagers begin to gain independence with every year they grow older and into their twenties, new conflicts arise with parents. As the adolescent gets older, parents often become confused of their role and adolescents lash out at their parents in rebellion.
Adolescent beginning to display bouts of disobedience to challenge the parents
Adolescent lashes out at parents
Parents do not always know how to communicate effectively with their young adult
Adolescents do not always know how to communicate effectively with their parents
Separation anxiety can affect the parent of the independence-craving adolescent
According to Relationships with Parents, Self-Esteem, and Psychological Well Being in Adulthood, Robert E. L. Roberts and Vern L. Bengston, Identity Theory is a way to explain how an individual’s view of one’s self is determined by the world around them.
The way others treat a young person is the way that person will come to view his or herself.
Since a young child spends the majority of time around his or her parents, it would make sense that the parent would play the most important role in crafting this individual’s self image.
Others that shape a growing child’s self image are:
This leads to the child’s role-identity, and ultimately leads to the child’s sense of “Who I Am”.
Evidence shows that children who developed a positive self image through childhood were less likely to be affected by negative comments about themselves or their performances later in life.
The role of the parent in shaping the child’s self identity of who he or she is is undeniable.
According to The Effects of Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Parental Separation on Adolescent Well-Being, by Tami M. Videon, “A substantial literature suggests that parent-child relations constitute important influences on children’s well-being, and may explain poorer outcomes for children living in single-parent homes.”
A positive interaction with the parents could lead the child to a positive well being.
As a child grows older, into teenage years and beyond, the time an individual spends with one’s parents lessens as that person spends time at work, school, with friends or a significant other.
Does this affect a person’s well being?
According to Relationships with Parents, Self-Esteem, and Psychological Well Being in Adulthood, studies show that a lack of close parent/child relationship during the early years of life affects a child’s well being negatively, but few studies show the same for an individual in early adulthood.
This could be related to the fact that young adults begin to rely more heavily on friends and significant others for emotional support.
Financial dependency on parents typically remains in young adulthood. As the individual begins to become more and more financially independent, well being increases in a positive manner.
Does gender play a part in adolescent/parent relationships?
According to Relationships with Parents, Self-Esteem, and Psychological Well Being in Adulthood, “we possess some evidence that young women still may value primary relationships more strongly where as young men value achievement-oriented activities.” (Richards and Larsen 1989; Shanahan et al. 1991)
This evidence suggests that females may be attached more closely to parental relationships than males.
Separation anxiety in parents of adolescents
According to Seperation Anxiety in Parents of Adolescents: Theoretical Significance and Scale Development by Ellen Hock, Mary Eberly, Suzanne Bartle-Haring, Pamela Ellwanger, and Keith F. Widaman, “Society places expectations on both adolescents and their parents for increasing adolescent self-reliance and autonomy from parents; separation of adolescents from their parents is imminent and represents a major life transition.”
Although there is a vast amount of research done on separation anxiety of parents from their children, there is not much research done on separation anxiety of parents from their adolescents.
Parents and adolescents experience different feelings and frustrations while going through a detachment phase from relying on parents to no longer needing to rely on them. Some of these feelings include:
Feelings of sadness
What decreases parental anxiety?
According to Separation Anxiety in Parents of Adolescents: Theoretical Significance and Scale Development
“… Parents’ average level of anxiety about adolescent distancing may not significantly decrease until after adolescents move out of the home. The parents of college seniors reported significantly lower scores on this attribute [stress level] than did the parents of younger adolescents; even parents of college freshmen reported relatively high levels of anxiety about adolescent distancing.”
This suggests that time of getting used to the adolescent being an adult and being on his or her own is the best way to help parents feel less anxiety about the distancing of their adolescent.
Similarly, adolescents feel less anxiety about being separate from their parents as time passes and they become more familiar with the ways of adulthood.
Relationships with friends and significant others increase, as does time at school, work, and other personal hobbies.
It should be noted that these studies were done in middle class homes, and findings may differ in other socioeconomic situations. Areas of higher crime rates could contribute to a higher level of anxiety of parents with independent adolescents.
The relationships among children and their parents from infancy to adult hood remain an important relationship to have.
In childhood, the relationship one has with his or her parents can shape one’s own self identity and feelings of “Who I Am”.
As the child reaches young adulthood, struggles and frustrations may be faced with confusion of parental roles and a struggle of the adolescent for independence.
Studies suggest that parental anxiety does not significantly decrease until adolescent has been moved out of the home, and time has passed for both parties to become accustomed to this new phase of life.
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