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05-04-2016 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 10/2016

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2016

Discrepancies in Adolescents’ and Mothers’ Perceptions of the Family and Mothers’ Psychological Symptomatology

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 10/2016
Auteurs:
Christine McCauley Ohannessian, Robert Laird, Andres De Los Reyes

Abstract

Research has shown that discrepancies in adolescents’ and their parents’ perceptions of the family are linked to adolescent adjustment. Of note, the majority of studies to date have focused on differences in perceptions between adolescents and their parents. However, recent research has suggested that convergence in adolescents’ and their parents’ perceptions of the family may be linked to adolescent psychological outcomes as well. To date, research examining adolescents’ and parents’ perceptions of the family in relation to outcomes has focused only on adolescent outcomes. Therefore, the goal of this study was to examine the relationship between adolescents’ and their mothers’ perceptions of the family and mothers’ psychological symptomatology. Surveys were administered to 141 adolescents (56 % girls) and their mothers during the spring of 2007. The results indicated that adolescents viewed the family more negatively in comparison to their mothers. In addition, interactions between adolescents’ and mothers’ reports of open communication, communication problems, and family satisfaction predicted mothers’ psychological symptoms. These interactions indicated that mothers reported the most psychological symptoms when adolescents and mothers agreed that family functioning was poor (e.g., low open communication, high communication problems, low family satisfaction). The findings from this study underscore the need to consider adolescents’ and parents’ perceptions of the family in tandem when considering parental psychological adjustment.

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