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To know you is to trust you: parents' trust is rooted in child disclosure of information
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences. (Center for Developmental Research)
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences. (Center for Developmental Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7546-2275
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences. (Center for Developmental Research)
1999 (English)In: Journal of Adolescence, ISSN 0140-1971, E-ISSN 1095-9254, Vol. 22, no 6, 737-752 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Proposed that parental trust is primarily based on knowledge. In this study, 3 types of knowledge of the child were pitted against each other in the prediction of parental trust: knowledge of feelings and concerns; of past delinquency; and of daily activities. Ss were 1,186 14 yr olds and their parents. Results showed that knowledge of daily activities was more important than knowledge of past delinquency. In further analyses, knowledge of daily activities that came from the child's spontaneous disclosure was most closely linked to parental trust. These findings add support to a recent reinterpretation of parental "monitoring" as parental knowledge that mainly comes from spontaneous child disclosure. Additionally, the role of parental trust for dysfunctional family relations was examined and it was found that the relations between the child's delinquency and family dysfunction were mediated by parental trust. Finally, even though there was substantial agreement between parents and children about parental trust in the child, the individual's unique perspectives were important. Family dysfunction from the child's perspective was based on whether they believed that their parents trusted them, and parent perceptions of family dysfunction were based on their own trust in the child.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier Science , 1999. Vol. 22, no 6, 737-752 p.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6566DOI: 10.1006/jado.1999.0266OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-6566DiVA: diva2:214287
Projects
Adolescent Development, Daily Activities, Knowledge Level, Parent Child Relations, Trust (Social Behavior), Child Attitudes, Emotions, Juvenile Delinquency, Parental Attitudes, Self Disclosure
Available from: 2009-05-04 Created: 2009-05-04 Last updated: 2015-02-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A new look at parenting during adolescence: reciprocal interactions in everyday life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A new look at parenting during adolescence: reciprocal interactions in everyday life
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation I pose the question: Under what conditions are parent-child relationships linked to good, or bad, adolescent adjustment and under what conditions are they not?

Study I focused on subjects with multiproblematic adjustment. It was proposed that multiproblematic adjustment in adolescence (as well as in late childhood and early adulthood) has to be seen in terms of individual and family characteristics early in life. The findings confirmed the hypothesis that children characterized by both pre-school conduct problem and poor mother-child relations, later in life showed considerably more problems in different environments than did children with other combinations of conduct problems and mother relations.

Studies II-IV aimed at understanding the association between parent-child relationships and adjustment specifically during adolescence. Study II examined how parental trust could be gained, the importance of it, and how it could be linked to adolescent adjustment. Since the trust that parents expressed relative to their children was assumed to be primarily based on the knowledge parents have about their children, three possible sources of parental knowledge were examined (of child’s feelings and concerns, of past delinquency, and of daily activities) along with sources of parental knowledge itself. The results showed that parents’ knowledge of daily activities that came from the child’s spontaneous disclosure was most closely linked to their trust in their child, and parents’ trust, in turn, was associated with good parent-child relations and good adjustment on part of the adolescent. Study III examined how parental control, warmth, and communication in the parent-child relationship are associated with positive and negative adolescent adjustment. Structural equations tests of a theoretical model suggested that the link from parental warmth through parental control to adolescent adjustment was weak compared with the path from parental warmth through child disclosure to adolescent adjustment. Across informants, direct parental control was minimally important, if at all.

Study IV examined whether adolescents’ not wanting parental involvement was a normal part of the parent-child relationship during adolescence. It was shown that not wanting parents to be involved generally was a sign of poor adolescent adjustment, even when controlling for problem behaviors and family problems. Person-oriented analyses identified a group of adolescents who wanted low levels of parental involvement, who were normal in terms of family problems and behavior problems and showed evidence of healthy psychological functioning. In view of the small size of this group (11%), and the results from the analyses of linear relations, it was concluded that the combination of adolescents’ desires to manage their own free time and healthy functioning is not as normative as it is normally thought.

Overall, the results from these four studies provide a basis for taking a bi-directional approach to understanding the parent-child relationship during adolescence, and in particular examining the child’s active role in his or her development. Furthermore, two new issues were brought up in the present dissertation, 1) a new interpretation of problem aggregation and 2) a new view of the parent-child relationship during adolescence. Directions for future research, practical implications for adolescents, their parents, and the issue of generality are included in the discussion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2002. 114 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 2
Keyword
Adolescent adjustment, parent-child relationship, parenting, reciprocal interactions, psykologi
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32 (URN)91-7668-301-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2002-09-13, Hörsal D, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2002-09-13 Created: 2002-09-13 Last updated: 2011-06-17Bibliographically approved

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