Expectations of Parents - Adolescence and Parenting Report

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Renk and then-UCF doctoral student Allison Kanter Agliata began their study of parental expectations by surveying freshmen and sophomores. Questions focused on perceptions of personal maturity, academic achievement and dating. Other questions covered how well parents and students thought they communicate with each other. In light of that finding, Renk recommends that schools and universities teach assertive communication skills to parents and students to help them avoid unnecessary stress about expectations.

In the second study, Renk and then-doctoral student Cliff McKinney found that students who perceive that they have at least one authoritative parent — someone whose style combines warmth, a demanding nature and democracy — adjust better to college than students whose parenting styles are too authoritarian, permissive or neglectful. Several studies by Renk and other researchers have shown the benefits of authoritative parenting for younger children. She added that it takes time for parents to change their styles and that they should not give up if they fail at first.

Support—power links. Intercepts of support and power were found to be significantly positively correlated Figs. We also found a positive correlation between the slopes of support and power for all dyads, indicating that a greater decrease in support was related to a greater decrease in power, except for mother—daughter dyads.

Furthermore, the intercept of power was negatively related to the slope of support, indicating that a higher initial level of power was related to a faster decrease of support. This could, however, also be regression to the mean in that higher initial levels of power were also related to higher initial levels of support and higher initial levels of support can only move down considering there is much room to regress to the lower mean.

Relatively to the average development in the sample, high scorers seem to move down faster. Again, an indicator for regression to the mean is that both the intercepts of support and power and the slopes of support and power were related in the same way, in this case both positively.

Parental Expectations and Children's Academic Performance in Sociocultural Context | SpringerLink

Conflict—power links. The intercepts of conflict and power were found to be significantly positively correlated only in the relationships with fathers. This means that a higher initial level of conflict with fathers was related to a higher initial level of power of fathers. Moreover, the intercept of conflict was positively related to the slope of power, indicating that a higher initial level of conflict was related to a relatively smaller decrease of power.

A positive correlation between the slopes of conflict and power showed that a greater increase in conflict was related to a smaller decrease in power. Linkages in adolescent—mother relationships from middle to late adolescence Note. Linkages in adolescent—father relationships from middle to late adolescence Note. We also found a positive intercept—slope correlation between support and conflict for relationships with both parents, indicating that a higher initial level of support was related to a relatively smaller decrease of conflict. This effect could, however, be due to regression to the mean.

For instance, higher initial levels of support were related to lower initial levels of conflict and for lower initial levels of conflict there is less room to move downwards over time. The same could be true for the positive intercept—slope correlation we found between conflict and support for relationships with both parents, indicating that a higher initial level of conflict was related to a relatively greater increase of support. For instance, higher initial levels of conflict were related to lower initial levels of support and lower initial levels of support have much room to move upwards over time to the higher mean.

In these cases, the negative correlation between the intercepts of support and conflict and the negative correlation between the slopes of support and conflict are indicative of regression artifacts. A positive intercept—intercept correlation between support and power was found only in father—son dyads. This means that in father—son relationships a higher level of support is related to a higher level of power.

Only for relationships with mothers, we found a significant positive correlation between the intercept of support and the slope of power and a significant negative correlation between the intercept of power and the slope of support. This means that more supportive mothers had a smaller decrease in power, whereas mothers who were perceived by adolescents as more powerful revealed a smaller increase, or greater decrease, in support.

The association between a higher level of power and a greater decrease of support could also be an indication of a changing function of power: in early adolescence, parental power might be accepted and needed, whereas in middle adolescence parental power might be considered to be intrusive.

We found a positive intercept—intercept correlation between conflict and power for all dyads except for father—daughter dyads, which means that a higher initial level of conflict was related to a higher initial level of power. Furthermore, we found a positive slope—slope correlation between conflict and power for the relationships with both parents, except for father—son dyads, for whom this path was not estimated because of insignificant slope variance of power.

So for mother—daughter, mother—son, and father—daughter relationships, a greater decrease in conflict was related to a greater decrease in power.

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In this study, we investigated developmental changes in parent—adolescent relationships towards more equality by examining perceived parental support, perceived conflict with parents and perceived parental power with both fathers and mothers from age 12 to 15 and from age 16 to The longitudinal design allowed us to extend earlier findings about the development of these relationship characteristics. Moreover, we examined the way these changes were interlinked over time to test whether or not conflicts with parents played a central role in the development of parent—adolescent relationships towards greater equality.

Overall, regarding developmental changes not many differences were found between relationships with fathers and mothers or between boys and girls see Russell and Saebel , suggesting that relationships with both parents generally develop similarly for boys and girls. For perceived parental power, we found a decrease from early to middle and from middle to late adolescence for both boys and girls.

This decline was found to be significantly faster from early to middle adolescence than from middle to late adolescence. Although we found perceived parental power to decline earlier than expected Furman and Buhrmester , these results confirm that the power balance in parent—child relationships becomes less asymmetrical during adolescence Laursen and Bukowski Furthermore, our findings show that the transition to more equality in parent—adolescent relationships is accompanied by changes in support and conflict.

As expected Furman and Buhrmester , we found perceived support from mothers and fathers to decline from early to middle adolescence for both boys and girls and to stabilize from middle to late adolescence, although only for boys. In contrast to our hypothesis, support increased significantly from middle to late adolescence for girls.

For perceived conflict with mothers and fathers, we found a significant increase from early to middle adolescence and a significant decline from middle to late adolescence for both boys and girls. Thus, as parent—adolescent relationships become more egalitarian over time, support from parents temporarily decreases and conflict with parents temporarily increases. In concurrence with the idea that parent—adolescent relationships become more egalitarian over time Youniss and Smollar , we found a generally significant positive relation between perceived parental support and perceived parental power in early adolescence, but not in middle adolescence.

Whereas in early adolescence, parents perceived by adolescents as powerful were viewed as supportive, this link diminished for the greatest part during middle adolescence. Although we concluded before that adolescent relationships with both mothers and fathers generally develop similarly, two relevant differences appeared with respect to developmental linkages between support, conflict, and power. First, it appeared that the link between a greater increase in conflict and a smaller decrease in power from early to middle adolescence was especially strong in father—daughter relationships.


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This suggests that, specifically in father—daughter relationships with highly increasing levels of conflict, daughters perceive their fathers as remaining relatively dominant. Second, the link between support and power partly continued from middle to late adolescence in mother—adolescent relationships, whereas in father—adolescent relationships this link disappeared after middle adolescence. It seems that in mother—adolescent relationships issues of power and support continue to play an important and rather contradictory role. On the one hand, mothers who were perceived by middle adolescents as more powerful were considered to be relatively less supportive over time, suggesting that middle to late adolescents perceive maternal power as unwanted and intrusive.

On the other hand, supportive mothers remained more powerful over time, suggesting that middle to late adolescents still appreciate more dominant mothers and see them as a guide. No relations between initial conflict and greater decreases in power were found.

Hence, perceived conflict with parents turned out not to be an impetus for changes in power towards greater equality. Instead, our findings suggest that initial levels and changes in support, conflict, and power tend to co-occur. Adolescents who perceive higher levels of conflict with parents also perceive higher levels of parental power and lower levels of parental support.

Greater increases in perceived conflict were related to relatively small decreases in perceived parental power and relatively large decreases in perceived parental support. So, when adolescents perceive many conflicts with their parents, they see them as relatively non-supportive power figures and this remains the same over the course of adolescence, yet parental power does not decrease faster when adolescents perceive more conflicts with their parents.

Thus, our assumption that perceived conflict with parents would be an impetus for changes in perceived parental power was not confirmed. Even though our results confirm the process suggested by both perspectives that adolescents become more autonomous and parent—adolescent relationships become more equal Blos ; Grotevant and Cooper , the hypothesis that this process is stimulated by parent—adolescent conflict has to be rejected.

Apparently, the relationship adjustment toward greater equality is related to, but not stimulated by, conflict with parents. The conclusion that parent—adolescent relationships do indeed become increasingly equal over time is consistent with the suggestion of both the separation—individuation perspective and the autonomy-relatedness perspective that adolescents develop towards more independence and autonomy over time. The decline and later stabilization of support across adolescence for boys supports the separation—individuation perspective that parent—adolescent relationships become more detached, whereas the decrease in perceived parental power concurs with the growing individuation and autonomy of adolescents, as implied by both the separation—individuation and the autonomy-relatedness perspectives.

Also, consistent with the autonomy-relatedness perspective is the finding that conflict is not predictive of changes in perceived parental support. The significant paths between initial conflict and changes in support were in the opposite direction, that is, a higher level of conflict was related to a smaller decrease of support instead of a greater decrease of support. Furthermore, these effects probably indicate regression to the mean in the sense that those who reported higher initial levels of conflict reported low support to begin with, and support could therefore not decline that much anymore.

The current study has several important strengths.

Introduction

To start with, the design allowed for longitudinal analyses on the development of perceived parental support, perceived conflict with parents, and perceived parental power in parent—adolescent relationships, thereby extending current knowledge based mainly on cross-sectional studies.

Furthermore, by using latent growth curve models, more insight has been gained on linkages over time between these relationship characteristics in parent—adolescent relationships. In this way, our study makes a relevant contribution to the current knowledge on the development of parent—adolescent relationships.

The current study also has several limitations. Despite the longitudinal design, this study was nevertheless limited in that two groups of participants were assessed over four measurement waves, instead of one group that was assessed from early to late adolescence. Even though it is not possible to see what happens exactly between ages 15 and 16, the developmental changes suggest that the gap between the two age groups is due to a curvilinear growth pattern throughout adolescence. In future research a longitudinal design that covers the entire age period of adolescence would be preferable.

Nevertheless, using observations or multi-informant questionnaires could give more information on development in these relationships. Taken as a whole, our study provides three conclusions: 1 parent—adolescent relationships become more egalitarian during adolescence, 2 parents perceived by adolescents as powerful are viewed as supportive and vice versa, especially in early adolescence, and 3 perceived conflict with parents is related to but not an impetus for changes in parent—adolescent relationships towards more equality.

Adolescents who perceive many conflicts with their parents see them quite consistently as non-supportive power figures and this does not change throughout adolescence. We found support for both the separation—individuation and the autonomy-relatedness perspectives regarding the decrease of parental power, which reflects increasing adolescent autonomy.

Furthermore, we found support for the separation—individuation perspective with respect to the decrease in parental support, reflecting separation from parents. Although changes in conflict tended to go hand in hand with changes in power, these changes were not stimulated by conflict with parents. Since conflict with parents was theorized but not found to play a significant role in the development of parent—adolescent relationships, future research should include other indicators that could possibly stimulate change in parent—adolescent relationships towards more equality.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and source are credited. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Open Access. First Online: 18 March Introduction Over the course of adolescence, many changes take place in parent—child relationships.

Development of Support, Conflict, and Power In this section we will discuss empirical evidence grouped separately for findings on support, conflict, power, and gender differences. From Inequality to Equality: An Interlinked Process Not many studies have examined linkages between changes in support, conflict, and power during adolescence. Aims of the Present Study We will longitudinally examine how the mean levels of perceived parental support, perceived conflict, and perceived parental power in relationships with mothers and fathers develop during early adolescence from age 12 to 15 and during middle adolescence from age 16 to Procedure The participating adolescents were recruited from various schools for secondary education in the province of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Measures Support The support scale measures the amount of support from parents as perceived by adolescents for the relationships with their mothers and fathers separately. Conflict The conflict scale assesses the intensity of conflict in relationships with their parents according to the perceptions of adolescents for the relationships with their mothers and fathers separately. Power The power scale measures the amount of power the adolescents attributed to their parents, for the relationships with their mothers and fathers separately.

In the first model estimated, all four groups were constrained to be similar on every parameter, except for the random error components. Next, we stepwise released the intercept means, the slope means, the intercept and slope variances, and the covariances among intercepts and slopes. Using chi-square difference tests, we determined which parameter releases made a significant improvement to the model fit. The parameter releases that turned out to be a non-significant improvement to the model fit were again constrained to be similar in subsequent steps.

For the significant parameters releases, critical ratio comparisons were used to evaluate among which of the four groups the parameters differed significantly. A critical ratio comparison shows a significant difference when the Z -score is above 1. We report the results of the better fitting multigroup models, but chose to discuss differences between boys and girls and early and middle adolescents only when a difference suggested by the model comparisons was confirmed by the critical ratios.

Due to the complexity of the models and our specific focus on developmental changes, analyses were conducted for mothers and fathers separately and, therefore, mother—father differences were not statistically tested. Support from both parents declined significantly from early to middle adolescence for both boys and girls in a similar way. From middle to late adolescence, support significantly increased for girls and stabilized for boys. Critical ratio comparisons of slope means showed that this developmental difference between boys and girls was significant for paternal support, but not for maternal support.

Expectations Can Hurt Teens

Furthermore, critical ratio comparisons showed that the support slopes of the early and middle adolescents differed significantly, except for boys in relationships with fathers see Figs. Open image in new window. We found that conflict with mothers and fathers increased significantly from early to middle adolescence and declined significantly from middle to late adolescence for both boys and girls. From early to middle and from middle to late adolescence, the power of both parents declined significantly for both boys and girls. The decline was found to be significantly faster from early to middle adolescence than from middle to late adolescence see Figs.

To examine linkages between mean developmental changes in parent—adolescent relationships, we used multivariate latent growth curve models separately for early and middle adolescence. Intercept and slope means and variances were constrained to the estimated values from the univariate multigroup growth curve analyses. For middle to late adolescent boys, the paths to the slope of power in relationships with their fathers were not estimated, because of insignificant slope variance of power.

We used four two-group analyses to examine gender differences for each age group for mothers and fathers separately. At first, boys and girls were constrained to be similar on every path. Next, we released the concurrent correlations, the intercept—slope paths within the same variable, the cross-paths, and the correlated changes one by one. Using comparisons of chi-squares and degrees of freedom, we determined which parameter releases significantly improved the model fit.

Those parameters were all released in the final models. Again, we report the results of the better fitting multigroup models, but we chose to discuss differences between boys and girls only when a gender difference suggested by the model comparisons was confirmed by the critical ratios. Due to the complexity of the models and our specific focus on developmental linkages, analyses were conducted for mothers and fathers separately and, therefore, mother—father differences were not statistically tested. Support—conflict links. When considering the linkages between support and conflict, we found that the intercepts of support and conflict were significantly negatively correlated see Figs.

This means that a higher initial level of support from fathers and mothers was related to a lower initial level of conflict with fathers and mothers. We also found significant negative correlated change between the slopes of support and conflict, which means that a greater decrease in support was related to a greater increase in conflict. Also, the intercept of conflict was positively related to the slope of support, indicating that a higher initial level of conflict was related to a smaller decrease of support.

However, this last finding could also be due to regression to the mean, in that higher initial levels of conflict were also related to lower initial levels of support and lower initial levels of support cannot decrease that much anymore. An indication for regression to the mean is that both the intercepts of support and conflict were negatively related and the slopes between support and conflict were negatively related.

We found a negative intercept—intercept correlation between support and conflict for all adolescents in relationships with both fathers and mothers, indicating that a higher level of support was related to a lower level of conflict. Furthermore, we found a negative slope—slope correlation between support and conflict for both parent—adolescent relationships, which shows that a greater increase in support was related to a greater decrease in conflict Figs. Developmental Linkages Between Support, Conflict, and Power In concurrence with the idea that parent—adolescent relationships become more egalitarian over time Youniss and Smollar , we found a generally significant positive relation between perceived parental support and perceived parental power in early adolescence, but not in middle adolescence.

Strengths and Limitations The current study has several important strengths. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and source are credited. Allen, J. Longitudinal assessment of autonomy and relatedness in adolescent—family interactions as predictors of adolescent ego development and self-esteem. Child Development, 65 , — Aquilino, W. From adolescent to young adult: A prospective study of parent—child relations during the transition to adulthood.

Journal of Marriage and the Family, 59 , — CrossRef Google Scholar. Beyers, W. Emotional autonomy, psychosocial adjustment and parenting: Interactions, moderating and mediating effects. Journal of Adolescence, 22 , — Blos, P. The second individuation process of adolescence. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 22 , — PubMed Google Scholar. The adolescent passage: Developmental issues. New York: International Universities Press. Google Scholar.

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Introduction

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