ERIC Number: ED363555
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-13
Reference Count: N/A
Socio-Emotional Adjustment in Adolescence and the Perception of Family Relations.
This paper presents results of a study of how family dysfunction contributes to adjustment of adolescents. The question is considered from two disciplinary vantage points: (1) structural anthropology, which considers dysfunction in terms of the affirmation of kinship relations; and (2) a family systems approach which emphasizes the role of factors such as family cohesion and adaptability. To appreciate the role of family dysfunction in the adjustment of adolescents, the study attempts to first determine which properties of the family constitute its functionality. In the anthropological approach one of the main functions of the family is to perpetuate kinship relations through behavior. Three types of kinship relations operate in most families: (1) affinity, the relationship between spouses, (2) consanguinity, the relationship between siblings, and (3) descent, the relationship between parents and their children. In the study, 283 undergraduate students completed a questionnaire in which they provided information on family characteristics as well as adjustment problems during their adolescence. Subjects were asked whether they ever had received professional help with various symptoms which are typically associated with social and emotional problems such as tension, depression, fear, anger, and suicide attempts. They also indicated whether given kinship relations in their family ever felt as if they were other types of kinship relations. Subjects also indicated whether they saw the primary caretaking responsibilities in their family as entrusted to children rather than the adults. It was found that family cohesion and the confusion of kinship relations were significant predictors of adjustment problems, whereas family adaptability was not. (DK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dysfunctional Families; Family Adaptability Cohesion Evaluation Scales
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).