Summary / Abstract

Title: Who has the final say? Decisions on adolescent behaviour within the family

Synopsis: The transition to adolescence involves significant changes for the family. To date, research on thesechanges and how they occur has been restricted by lack of suitable measures. An instrument—the Perspectives on AdolescentDecision-Making Questionnaire—was designed for such research. It examines 21 issues which can lead to conflict. Theinstrument was completed by 500 Italian adolescents aged 13 and 15. Sensitivity to age and sex differences was examined, andperceptions of personal choice, parental feelings, conflict and normal patterns for adolescents were analysed. The instrumentoffers promising possibilities for more effective study of parent/offspring relationships during the adolescent period. adolescent, age, parents, parental feeling, conflict, patterns, instrument, sex, adolescent behaviour, decision making, constellations, perspectives, Bosma, questions, PADM, olds, adolescent autonomy, parental authority, perception, transition, communication, sensitivity, Italian Adolescents, decision making questionnaire, family satisfaction, correlations, normative expectations, psychologically meaningful, frequencies, open communication,

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journal adolescence 1996 19 277 291 final say decisions adolescent behaviour family harke bosma sandy e jackson djurre h zijsling bruna zani elvira cicognani m lucia xerri terry m honess liz charman transition adolescence involves significant changes family date research changes occur restricted lack suitable measures instrument perspectives adolescent decision making questionnaire designed research examines 21 issues lead conflict instrument completed 500 italian adolescents aged 13 15 sensitivity age sex differences examined perceptions personal choice parental feelings conflict normal patterns adolescents analysed instrument offers promising possibilities effective study parent offspring relationships adolescent period 1996 association professionals services adolescents transition childhood adolescence embedded ongoing family process changes puberty arise biological cultural forces demand accommodatory adjustments family context implications physical change recognised account taken adolescent thoughts ideas new social needs aims accepted increasingly adolescent room make decisions personal plans aspirations new agreements reached rules interaction patterns home noller callan 1991 adjustments involve negotiating new roles relationships equal mutual assumed adolescence construed parents adolescent likely important implications mutual accommodations take place anticipate situations parental adolescent constructions step intra familial problems conflicts likely occur reverse true situations considerable overlap exists specific level smetana 1988a b shown parents offspring show changes conceptions parental authority vs adolescent autonomy 11 16 years age changes refer domains adolescents consider parental authority legitimate regard moral normative behaviour issues like choice friends style dress care personal appearance concerned latter issues tend lead conflict parents adolescents montemayor hanson 1985 smetana 1988a b steinberg 1990 smetana asquith 1994 findings reflect age graded normative expectations nurmi 1993 reprint requests correspondence addressed h bosma department psychology university groningen grote kruisstraat 2 1 nl 9712 ts groningen netherlands 0140 1971 96 03027715 18 00 0 1996 association professionals services adolescents 278 h bosma et al regard parental authority adolescent autonomy seeing adolescent development age graded context involves recognising young people freedom make decisions areas lives parents continue authority areas development changes occur adolescent progressively takes responsibilities previously held parent e g freedom decide come home drink alcohol perspective implies awareness possible cultural variations age grading content normative expectations situation regard possible sex differences harder define issues sex achieve autonomy earlier stage nature possible differences far clear cut parental authority adolescent autonomy conflict parents adolescents regarded deriving wider area parents adolescents construction nature adolescence likely parents ideas expectations adolescence adolescent development guide authority applied pace autonomy similarly developing adolescent view adolescence appropriate adolescents decide likely influence responses actions parents adults adolescents presumably degree concordance parental views teenage child influences nature joint experience stage family life research reported present article first step programme designed explore adolescent parental constructions adolescence previous research parental authority adolescent autonomy conflict seen providing useful starting point programme matters rules applied final say different issues arising family likely based sort conception adolescence patterns behaviour appropriate period development clarification relationship features family life social construction adolescence open turn research focusing related areas supportive behaviour confidence sharing orientation future developmental processes effective exploration final say different areas adolescent behaviour requires development appropriate research instrument instrument suitable application large groups subjects parents adolescents alike examining issues concern parent adolescent relationship ideally designed provide information ideas parent adolescent concerning issues regard normal adolescents general designed take account age graded normative expectations regard adolescence means sensitive age related cultural variations expectations work smetana 1988a b smetana asquith 1994 plausible variation depends issue question e g choice hobbies vs smoking drinking alcohol sum instrument provide issue specific information adolescent parental perspectives final say normal expected perspectives depend age adolescent change autonomy adolescent grows older adolescent autonomy depend issue question issues high early age issues parents tend remain control late adolescence assumed 279 adolescent behaviour family cultures differ construct adolescence instrument show cultural variation preparatory studies requirements mind instrument perspectives adolescent decision making questionnaire padm bosma et al 1992 designed order study adolescents parents ideas adolescent decision making instrument aimed obtain information concerning adolescent parent seen approach specific issues potential conflict conflict occurs behaviour involved regarded normal adolescents age group initial studies dutch adolescents n 188 parents n 91 provided encouraging findings parents adolescents asked completed questionnaire reported difficulty content validity instrument satisfactory asked think issues added 21 subjects failed provide new suggestions results provided evidence domain specific differences reported smetana 1988a pilot work italy similarly encouraging dutch adolescents covered variety ages 12 18 italian sample comprised two age groups 96 13 year olds 47 boys 49 girls 136 15 year olds 76 boys 60 girls analyses results preliminary studies involved comparisons b cross comparisons items examination age trends differences cultural groups provided evidence validity padm showed instrument young adolescents issues covered sensitive age differences differences dutch italian adolescents emerged demonstrating instrument sensitivity cultural differences encouraging results pilot studies led elaborate study involving larger representative sample italian adolescents present article reports results study examines padm sensitivity age differences compares measures family functioning demonstrates applicability study final say issues relating adolescent family method test instruments issues featured perspectives adolescent decision making questionnaire padm partly derived previous studies adolescent development conflict family e g prinz et al 1979 papini sebby 1988 smetana 1988a b smetana asquith 1994 series discussions field studies carried netherlands latter involved considerable feedback adolescents parents ensured dutch list high level content validity issues follows helping household chores e g making bed doing dishes chores time go bed bedtime behave meal times manners language swear words language 280 h bosma et al visit relatives visits private affairs privacy smoke smoke alcohol drink alcohol amount sweets chocolate eat sweets wash take shower bodycare clothes wear clothes look regarding hair style general appearance look spend pocket money money sports take sports hobbies take hobbies go going go time come home night time go friends concerning sexuality sex go church church time spend homework homework padm consists two sections padm 21 issues approached four standard questions reflects key aspect adolescent parental constructions adolescence adolescent decides adolescent choice parents feel adolescent parental feeling arguments parents adolescent arguments normal adolescent age decide normality form quartet questions remains 21 issues i decide i smoke parents feel i shouldn t smoke i arguments parents smoking i think normal age decide smoking adolescent free make personal decision issue situation change suggests measure needs involve clear responses issue issue attempting employ sort rating idea supported pilot work showed adolescents experienced difficulty four point rating scale completing subjects proceed directly b padm b 21 item rating scale items refer issues subjects asked five point scale indicate issue issue extent adolescent parent decides happen smoking parent decision two sections dealing issues different form made order able check internal consistency instrument 281 adolescent behaviour family addition padm two instruments employed order provide clearer picture test validity olson parent adolescent communication scale barnes olson 1982 family satisfaction scale olson wilson 1982 two subscales i e open family communication problems family communication olson reports alphas ranging 0 78 0 88 scales studies involving different samples latter two subscales satisfaction family cohesion satisfaction family adaptability alphas involving different samples range 0 82 0 92 areas covered two scales family communication family satisfaction appear likely closely related areas parental authority adolescent autonomy parent adolescent conflict feature padm specifically anticipated open communication high family satisfaction associated preponderance affirmative answers first question adolescent choice quartets lack communication low satisfaction higher incidence arguments third question subjects procedure subjects recruited five schools bologna three schools middle school level providing schooling last year compulsory schooling 13 14 years age 15 year old pupils drawn second year high school education two schools technically commercially oriented second prepared pupils higher education age group sample pupils participating study broadly representative local population total sample 500 pupils obtained composition sample age sex shown table 1 sample confined two age levels early adolescence period considerable levels change expected closeness age two groups offers demanding assessment padm sensitivity age related differences testing carried school class time pupil class completed three instruments testing 1 1 5 h results responses test instruments analysed four steps first internal consistency padm examined comparing adolescent choice questions responses b attention frequencies answers individual items padm issue question answers reflect issuetable 1 composition sample age sex 13 year olds 15 year olds total male 144 97 241 female 129 130 259 total 273 227 500 282 h bosma et al age related differences line normative age graded expectations concerning adolescence third step analyse combinations scores score constellations obtained padm data combinations constellations bring information yielded individual items number different global comprehensive variables validity padm studied analysing relationships padm two olson measures correspondence padm b line original expectations findings reported literature preparatory studies indicated extent autonomy decision making adolescence strongly dependent issue actually considered issues look hobbies sports adolescents great deal autonomy parents decisive voice present study anticipated pattern emerge b provide picture check latter expectation individual answers first questions padm issues ratings b compared comparisons revealed high correspondence issue issue b subjects agreement ranged 76 100 14 21 issues correspondence 90 higher results indicate good levels reliability suggest subjects consistent completed two test view rest article concentrate padm main measure differences responses padm issues percentage answers four questions issue examined two age groups answers mean adolescents see making decision issue question see parents specific perspective regard behaviour report occurrence arguments parents see deciding normal age group results analyses summarised table 2 considerable variation emerged scoring pattern quartets issues general close correspondence number answers first decide fourth question normal arguments appeared infrequent occur roughly four cases issues chores bedtime go time homework responses second question showed parents frequently perceived take clear position positive negative regard issues exception hobbies sports chi square testing revealed considerable variation age view large number tests bonferroni procedure order reduce likelihood significant differences emerging chance led identification number age differences significant 0 0005 level occurred regard adolescent choice normality bodycare sex smoke alcohol bedtime language manners visits scored issues personal decision making significantly higher percentage 15 year olds 15 year olds likely see bedtime sex smoking visits alcohol issues normal adolescents age make decisions table 2 283 adolescent behaviour family table 2 percentage answers four padm questions issue age group i decide parents feel i arguments normal 13 year olds 15 year olds 13 year olds 15 year olds 13 year olds 15 year olds 13 year olds 15 year olds 97 100 hobbies hobbies hobbies sports 94 96 bodycare time clothes sports homework 91 93 sports privacy clothes friends hobbies sports bodycare homework church 88 90 privacy sweets time smoke clothes 85 87 church homework sex church bodycare bodycare chores church look clothes language 82 84 look smoke chores smoke language alcohol privacy privacy sweets 79 81 bodycare friends bodycare homework 76 78 look sweets alcohol alcohol look sweets 73 75 money bedtime bedtime visits friends bedtime manners 70 72 sex money manners friends sex 67 69 homework bedtime 64 66 smoke relatives 61 63 language church homework money chores money smoke manner go friends 58 60 friends church bedtime chores visits 55 57 sweets money 52 54 bedtime alcohol chores money sex language manners 49 51 go language alcohol 46 48 chores manners privacy 43 45 language visits sweets privacy go go visits 40 42 go look time manners go 37 39 look 34 36 clothes homework smoke 31 33 clothes alcohol 28 30 go sex go chores homework 25 27 sex bedtime 22 24 chores money privacy clothes 19 21 visits time bedtime money time language 16 18 sports sports language sweets time manners 13 15 visits look manners church privacy visits clothes 10 12 hobbies friends church look friends sports bodycare 7 9 time time hobbies smoke sport sweets sex 4 6 alcohol hobbies smoke alcohol sex hobbies bodycare 1 3 significant age difference p 0 0005 284 h bosma et al remaining two questions quartet parents feel arguments significant differences age groups emerged seen table 2 increases age percentages affirmative responses arguments concerning go time recalled subjects offered three answer possibilities responding questions quartet unable respond definite make possibility rarely answering arguments question 5 answers issue adolescent choice parental feeling questions employed frequently occasions rising 10 answers frequently response normality question marked variability issues issues percentage response 15 30 chores manners visits money go sex scored uncertain response higher 20 level combinations constellations padm responses far consideration padm data focused group data frequencies answers four questions issue separately different patterns answers individual adolescents analysed patterns parsimonious ways representing padm data two types comprehensive variables discussed first type concerns affirmative responses four questions quartet 21 different issues e g issues adolescent decide second type concerns response patterns questions issues i e different score constellations issues entails examining individual adolescent constellation answers four questions concerning issue types variables interval measurement opens powerful statistical analyses response patterns type question issues subject number answers type question 21 issues computed gives four interval scores subject range 0 21 scores subsequent analyses table 3 provides mean scores 13 15 year olds boys girls mean scores show subjects see deciding 14 21 issues parents take clear position 12 issues conflicts reported concerning average three four issues subjects report normal adolescents make decisions concerning 14 issues table 3 shows extent age differences fifteen year olds decide average two issues 13 year olds report pattern age mates age differences four related variables examined manova significant age effect univariate tests showed effect arose increase adolescent choice f 45 29 df 1 496 p 0 001 considered normal f 25 33 df 1 496 p 0 001 significant age effect remaining variables significant sex effect univariate testing showed explained higher incidence parental feeling reported girls f 6 36 df 1 496 p 0 012 285 adolescent behaviour family table 4 shows correlations number affirmative answers four types questions significant correlations low adolescent choice normality strongly correlated adolescents legitimise choice strong reference peers parental feeling correlates negatively adolescent choice normality result indicates perception restricted parental point view goes higher scores adolescent autonomy choice making considered normal adolescents arguments positively related perceptions parental feeling normality negatively adolescent choice last two correlations weak result suggests parental feeling adolescent choice regarded source conflict response patterns questions issues foregoing analysis scores question 21 issues provided interesting information concerning response patterns different groups examination individual score constellations individual respond constellation four questions issue provides information different sort true constellations involving combinations clear scores responses omitted 16 possible constellations scores issue frequencies 16 different constellations computed issue sample inspection resulting matrix 16 21 frequencies revealed constellations frequently consideration different constellations suggested make sense psychologically compare constellation ynny adolescents decide negative parental feelings arguments occur choice seen normal adolescents age combination nnyn adolescents decide negative parental feelings arguments occur normal adolescents decide appears fit psychologically meaningful latter frequency psychological meaningfulness regarded useful criteria table 3 mean number answers 21 issues adolescent choice parental feeling arguments normality 13 year 15 year mean 13 year 15 year mean 13 year 15 year mean 13 year 15 year mean olds olds olds olds olds olds olds olds male 13 5 15 9 14 5 12 2 11 9 12 1 3 5 3 5 3 5 13 2 14 9 13 9 female 14 1 15 5 14 8 12 8 12 9 12 8 3 0 3 5 3 3 13 4 15 0 14 2 mean 13 8 15 6 12 5 12 5 3 3 3 5 13 3 14 9 table 4 intercorrelations number answers four types questions adolescent choice 1 00 parental feeling 0 29 1 00 arguments 0 11 0 30 1 00 normality 0 60 0 18 0 11 1 00 p 0 01 p 0 001 286 h bosma et al identifying constellations analyse differences issues groups adolescents parents constellations possibility illustrated article focusing four constellations frequently regarded psychologically meaningful yyyy norm supported conflict adolescents decide parents negative feelings arguments occur adolescents think normal decide yyny norm supported compromise adolescents decide parents negative feelings arguments occur adolescents think normal decide ynny norm supported autonomy adolescents decide parents negative feelings arguments occur adolescent choice regarded normal nynn accepted parental authority adolescents decide parents negative feelings arguments occur adolescents think normal decide table 5 illustrates frequency four constellations different issues padm frequency remaining constellations frequency answers table 5 reveals strong interaction issue constellation norm supported autonomy features strongly issues hobbies sports hand accepted parental authority dominant constellation regard time pattern autonomy ynny authority nynn differs issue issue differences show need caution talking general terms adolescent autonomy parental authority encouraging see 13 21 issues 50 information retained four constellations chosen issues information accounted lower e g chores visits go sex exception visits due high frequency answer case visits constellation nyny 14 6 subjects analysis constellations carried step examining individual subject four constellations involved calculating frequently subject particular constellation issues procedure produces interval score maximum 21 constellation subject table 6 shows average four constellations total group 13 15 year olds three four constellations show clear age related differences table 6 age increase norm supported autonomy ynny norm supported compromise yyny goes decrease accepted parental authority nynn norm supported conflict yyyy related age differences padm olson measures olson tests designed measure aspects family functioning padm despite anticipate relationship results 287 adolescent behaviour family results latter third question concerning issue specifically concerned conflict similarly four constellations discussed previous section regarded family patterns varying degrees conflict satisfaction anticipated mind scores two subscales parent adolescent communication scale calculated communication mother communication father good reason anticipate distinction family adaptability family cohesion padm concerned global family satisfaction score calculated family satisfaction scale correlations resulting five scores padm scores four constellations calculated see table 7 anticipated arguments score padm correlated olson measures significant negative correlations open communication father mother family satisfaction similarly communication problems father mother show significant positive correlations arguments correlations normality olson measures interest show fairly table 5 frequencies constellations issue yyyy yyny ynny nynn chores 3 8 22 0 2 4 4 4 16 2 51 2 bedtime 4 8 20 4 16 2 4 6 18 8 35 2 manners 3 0 16 6 12 6 15 6 16 4 35 8 language 7 0 21 2 4 6 13 0 17 0 37 2 visits 2 2 7 4 10 2 14 0 29 4 36 8 privacy 8 4 22 2 28 6 0 2 7 8 32 8 smoke 2 8 33 2 3 4 13 8 25 8 21 0 alcohol 1 6 25 4 4 6 19 8 21 6 27 0 sweets 4 2 25 2 28 0 2 4 10 8 29 4 bodycare 3 4 65 6 5 0 3 0 5 6 17 4 clothes 10 0 13 0 45 8 0 4 9 6 21 2 look 5 4 15 6 40 8 2 4 7 4 28 4 money 8 0 13 0 22 2 7 0 13 0 36 8 sports 2 8 8 4 70 8 0 2 7 0 10 8 go 2 0 4 4 9 8 8 2 26 6 49 0 time 1 6 2 2 1 2 39 8 29 6 25 6 friends 7 6 27 8 25 0 2 4 6 6 30 6 hobbies 1 0 6 0 79 0 0 2 3 4 10 4 sex 1 6 8 4 26 6 2 2 8 2 53 0 church 5 6 36 2 22 2 1 8 6 2 28 0 homework 19 6 27 0 20 0 0 8 8 8 23 8 table 6 four constellations issues mean scores total 13 year olds 15 year olds significance testing yyyy 1 06 1 01 1 13 t 0 94 n yyny 4 21 3 83 4 67 t 3 55 p 0 01 ynny 4 79 4 48 5 17 t 2 60 p 0 01 nynn 1 56 2 05 0 97 t 6 64 p 0 01 288 h bosma et al pattern arguments relationship emerged answers adolescent choice parental feeling olson scores constellations concerned norm supported conflict correlates anticipated fashion olson measures similarly accepted parental authority regarded broadly positive pattern correlates appropriate surprisingly norm supported autonomy reveals significant correlations broad trend norm supported compromise direction accepted parental authority general picture emerging comparisons padm olson measures tend support validity absence instruments focus directly adolescent choice family context regarded encouraging finding discussion introduction argued effective exploration parent adolescent decisionmaking requires development appropriate instrument instrument provide issue specific information adolescent parental perspectives adolescent autonomy parental authority age culture related differences evidence padm effective tool research area taken results study extensive preparatory studies provide strong positive evidence measurement qualities research potential padm two instrument show high correspondence means future instrument based padm ample evidence instrument sensitive age grading normative expectations regard adolescence general patterns found boys girls separately highly seen interesting finding indications literature lead expect clear differences sexes finding derives global analyses possible detailed examination different cultural table 7 correlations padm variables olson scales ocfa pcfa ocmo pcmo sat adolescent choice 0 06 0 02 0 01 0 02 0 01 parental feeling 0 04 0 03 0 06 0 06 0 00 arguments 0 23 0 35 0 30 0 37 0 38 normality 0 16 0 13 0 18 0 15 0 17 yyyy 0 16 0 28 0 21 0 28 0 26 yyny 0 06 0 11 0 13 0 09 0 14 ynny 0 04 0 04 0 01 0 08 0 06 nynn 0 19 0 17 0 23 0 19 0 31 p 0 01 p 0 001 ocfa open communication father pcfa problems communication father ocmo pcmo idem mother sat family satisfaction 289 adolescent behaviour family groups provide varied picture possibility examined future publication results provide two indications validity instrument smetana 1988a b smetana asquith 1994 found changes adolescents conceptions parental authority early adolescence changes evident areas concerned moral normative behaviour occur regard issues choice friends clothing personal appearance present research concerned slightly older age group tends confirm findings table 2 shows issues time go regarded matters personal choice seen issues parental feelings clear hand table shows issues emerge clearly source conflict parents young people grow older support idea conflicts peak early adolescence decline mid adolescence cf smetana asquith 1994 issues sports hobbies clothes fall clearly adolescent domain little evidence conflict issues padm yields rich variety data article reported frequencies answers question issue table 2 tried make description data manageable focussing specific variables answers type question issues b response constellations issue c frequency constellations issues frequencies answers question issue demonstrate age grading normative expectations adolescent autonomy parental authority results compared smetana findings e g smetana 1988a b smetana asquith 1994 specific variables offer interesting new information number answers type question shows degree adolescent autonomy 21 issues perceived parental feelings issues occurrence arguments extent adolescent decision making issues considered normal positive answers two questions adolescent choice normality increased significantly age plausible result line research e g smetana 1988a collins 1990 steinberg 1990 responses questions concerning parental feeling arguments unrelated age i e number issues parental rules perceived number issues involving conflicts decreased age adolescent perception personal decision making related perception parental rules conflicts correlations answers table 4 yield two patterns first shows adolescent choice normality strongly related parents seen giving support adolescent autonomy decision making parental feeling correlates negatively variables second pattern concerns parental feeling arguments noteworthy arguments correlates significantly adolescent choice normality parental feeling partialled correlations reduced 0 03 n latter increases 0 17 p 0 001 suggests parental feeling lesser degree normality adolescent choice regarded sources conflict second specific variable concerns constellations scores obtained cluster questions constellations offer number interesting possibilities studying data first reduce number variables combining answers quartet questions 16 nominal categories illustrated article 290 h bosma et al examining four clear face validity subjects first step analysis concerned relative frequency constellations issue appears clear issue constellation interaction see table 5 second step examined frequency constellation subject issues frequencies offer variety opportunities examining age differences adolescent functioning family context see table 6 four constellations selected study showed clear plausible age differences constellations offer possibilities identify individuals regularly report psychologically meaningful decision making patterns home comparisons made groups revealing contrasting patterns e g family processes young people reporting predominantly autonomous constellations compared adolescents reporting norm supported conflict applications illustrate rich potential offered different constellations identifying studying particular features young people behaviour unfold family course adolescent years four constellations considered article constellations study family behaviour patterns concerning specific issues e g visits nyny constellation detailed examination relatively small identifiable groups analysis background constellations appear carry little psychological meaning fruitful family groups member provides constellations merit attention comparisons olson measures provide 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