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ERIC Number: ED262360
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Family Triangles and College Student Adjustment.
Wilson, Richard J.; Rohrbaugh, Michael
Theories of family structure have proposed that in healthy families, the parents' marital alliance is primary (MAP), while in dysfunctional families the primary alliance is not marital (MANP) but crosses generational boundaries. Some family alliances involve triangulation, drawing a third person into a dyadic relationship to mediate tension. Family relationships were examined in 309 college students who completed a Family Background Questionnaire about their past and present family relationships and their current adjustment to college. A sub-sample (N=88) participated in more in-depth structured interviews and completed the UCLA Revised Loneliness Scale. Analysis of the questionnaire responses revealed that MANP students who indicated that no sibling was available to join the triangle after the student entered college were performing poorly in academics and were more likely to consider counseling than were MAP students. Interview data further revealed that MANP students reported being lonelier than MAP students, and students who indicated more contact with one parent reported being lonelier than those indicating equal contact with both parents. These findings suggest that the integrity of generational boundaries is important to the functioning of individual family members and that the negative effects of cross generational alliances can be buffered by other family members who can be triangled into these alliances. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A