ERIC Number: ED177439
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Social Bases of Power in Single and Two-Parent Families.
Malouf, Roberta E.
The ways single mothers and their adolescent children attempt to influence each other as compared with the patterns observed in two-parent families were studied in order to add to the conceptual understanding of the similarities and differences between single- and two-parent families. Verbal interaction of 60 parent-adolescent dyads was observed. Dyads were 20 single mother-, 20 married mother-, and 20 married father-adolescent dyads, with equal numbers of sons and daughters within each group. Using a revealed differences task, each dyad met to discuss five issues on which they had disagreed. All issues dealt with the extent to which adolescents could make decisions without the participation of their parents. Single mothers and their daughters engaged in more persuasion and more coercion than did the other parent-adolescent groups. Single mothers won less often than did married mothers and fathers, and single mothers relied less on intrafamilial power than did married parents. Married mothers talked more with sons and married fathers talked more with daughters, but no differences were obtained for single mothers with their sons and daughters. The data suggest that successful single parents accommodate to the absence of one parent by interpersonally neutering themselves to their children--a finding relevant in light of the importance of cross-sex identification in normal development of adolescents. (Author/PJC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (59th, San Diego, California, April 5-8, 1979); Best copy available