Does the family supportive climate affect the adult children during the transition to adulthood?

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


Since the end of the Seventies, the transition to adulthood has no longer been considered as a brief period in which people made important choices, but a phase in the life cycle that lasts for years (Arnett, 2001; Scabini, et al., 2006; Scabini & Donati, 1988). The role of relationships with parents has been studied to understand the influence of parents-adolescents relationship on emerging adults adjustment (Aquilino, 1997; Seiffge-Krenke, 2006), or to investigate how parents support emerging and young adults choices (Buhl, 2006; Youniss & Smollar, 1985). In general research were focused on the influence from parents to emerging adults and did not take into account the reverse influence. In the family literature the bidirectional influences between parents and children were investigated underlying the active role of children in building up relationship. Moreover in the social support literature, it has been shown that there are several factors influencing the perception of support exchanged in a dyadic relationship within a group (i.e., the family): the perceiver’s, the partner’s, the dyadic relationship’s, and the group (family)’s characteristics (Lakey et al, 1996; Neely et al, 2006; Tagliabue & Lanz, 2009). The aim of the present paper is to investigate the family supportive climate which affects the family members’ perception of support exchanged in their relationships considering the different role played by parents and emerging adults. The family climate could be considered the family supportive culture which specifically affects families and their members. Both parents and children contribute to create that climate, and it constitutes the secure base for family members. Because few longitudinal studies investigated changes in the parents-adult children relationships (Seiffge-Krenke et al, 2010) and no studies longitudinally investigate the stability during time of that family supportive climate, the first research question of the present paper is about the significance and the stability of that factor in a two waves study. Moreover, the second research question is about the influence of that family climate on emerging adulthood’s individual adjustment three years later. The present study analyzes data through the Social Relations Model (SRM, Kenny & La Voie, 1984) to measure the family supportive climate. In particular, the Cook and Kenny (2004) procedure to calculate SRM factor scores for each family has been used. Then the stability of family supportive climate and its influences on individual outcomes during time has been tested. Participants were 77 Italian families. The children aged 25.5 (sd=2.00; range 23-32), filled the questionnaire for three times (the first time just before discussing their master degree thesis; the second time after eight months ; the third time three years later). During the third wave, they also answered to a telephone interview. During the first and the second waves, parents also filled questions about relational support exchanged with the spouse and their adult children. The SRM has been tested both on the first and the second waves’ family data, showing the significance of SRM effects, and in particular of the family effect. Longitudinal analyses are under way.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospite5th SSEA Conference
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011
Evento5th SSEA Conference - Providence
Durata: 26 ott 201128 ott 2011


Convegno5th SSEA Conference


  • emerging adulthood


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