The different meaning of parent-child similarity during emerging adulthood: Characteristics and outcomes.

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Abstract

The transition to adulthood has been conceptualized as a ‘joint enterprise’ between parents and emerging adults (Scabini, Marta, & Lanz, 2006) in which parents and children are daily called to negotiate their representation of it, and their relationship. Self-definition as adult is often difficult for young people (Arnett, 2000; Fadjukoff et al., 2007; Lowe, et al. 2013). According to the looking glass self and symbolic interaction theory, we define ourselves according to the view others have of us, and this is true also in the family context (Cook & Douglas, 1998). We may hypothesized that the self-perception of adulthood depends on individual representation and parents acknoledgment. However, no studies analyzed the parents perception of the adulthood of their emerging adult children. Parents usually provide support to their children during emerging adulthood, but also emerging adults begin to think the way to reciprocate their parents. In this sense, emerging adults negotiate with their parents felt obligation a series of behaviors, or practical “should” that guide adult children’s interactions with their parents ( Stein, 2009). The negotiation that happen within family across two generation can be assess through the measure of similarity between parent-child. . Similarity has been investigated on different constructs and assumed different meaning : Intergenerational transmission of value (Barni et al., 2011), a measure of closeness between parents and children (Scabini, 2000), a measure of adaptability for immigrant families (Costigan et al., 2013). Rather scaces are research that investigate the association between similarity and individual outcome. The aim of the present study is to investigate how much parents and children are similar in the perception of the adult role of emerging adults and in the felt obligation. Moreover, the links between parent-child similarity and emerging adults’ depression and life satisfaction are analyzed. Method Participants 74 Italian family triads with one emerging adult child (mean child = 21.13; d.s. 2.60) (224 subjects) participated to the study. 75.7% of emerging adults are female. All the emerging adults live with their parents. Measures Emerging adults and parents were asked to evaluate if the emerging adult feel more adolescent, adult or something else. Felt obligation was assessed using the Felt Obligation Measure (FOM, Stein, 1992), designed to tap adults’ expectations regarding appropriate relationships with family members. Felt obligation was assessed using the Felt Obligation Measure (Stein, 1992), designed to tap adults’ expectations regarding appropriate relationships with family members. Two types of dyadic similarity indexes were computed: A dyadic agreement typology on perception of adulthood and the dyadic correlation index to assess similarity in sense of adulthood and felt obligation to capture dyadic similarity in response profiles. RESULTS Emerging adults feel themselves as adults (60.3%), adolescents (15.1%), and something-else 24.7%). Parents perceive them as adults (mother =69.9%, father=76.7%), adolescents (both =16.4%), and something-else (mother =13.7%, father=6.9%). The agreement about the adult status of emerging adults was reached in the 47.9% of mother-child dyads, whereas in the 50.7% of father-child dyads. Dyadic data analysis on sense of adulthood and felt obligation are currently being undertaken.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospite6th Conference on Emerging Adulthood
Pagine1
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013
Evento6th Conference on Emerging Adulthood - Chicago
Durata: 9 ott 201311 ott 2013

Convegno

Convegno6th Conference on Emerging Adulthood
CittàChicago
Periodo9/10/1311/10/13

Keywords

  • emerging adulthood

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