ERIC Number: ED332818
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Family Decision-Making in Early Adolescence: Conversations and Choices.
Jacobs, Janis E.; And Others
This study investigated the processes and outcomes of family decision-making during children's transition from late childhood to adolescence. Members of 28 one-parent families and 40 two-parent families completed four decision tasks independently, then as a family. Decision tasks concerned selecting a bicycle, a snack, a movie, and a camp for the child. After making individual decisions, family members were asked to reach consensus on the same decisions. Influence was measured by correspondence between an individual's original decision and the joint decision. Joint family decision-making was tape-recorded, coded and analyzed by means of aspects of Halweg's Interaction Coding System as incorporated into Bales' Interaction Process Analysis. All family members used similar sources of information when making decisions, but their level of influence on family decisions differed. Children in one-parent families had more influence than those in two-parent families, and children's influence varied by gender and age-group. Preliminary analyses of family discussions about the joint decision tasks indicated that family configuration and age were not systematically related to family decision processes. It is concluded that researchers may need to rethink the role of parental influence in the development of children's decision-making skills. Information should be targeted at specific gender and age groups. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).