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Adolescents' conceptions of family democracy: does their own behavior play a role?
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)
2004 (English)In: European Journal of Developmental Psychology, ISSN 1740-5629, E-ISSN 1740-5610, Vol. 1, no 4, 317-330 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Much research on family democracy has started from the assumption that parents produce the democratic climate and adolescent behavior is an outcome of it. In this study, we asked whether and how adolescent behavior contributes to family democracy, using both parents’ and adolescents’ behaviors as predictors of family democracy. Participants were 1,057 15-to-16-year-olds in a city in central Sweden. The results showed that adolescents’ conceptions of family democracy involve both their own and their parents’ behavior. When controlling for parents’ behaviors, adolescents’ behaviors added significantly to the prediction of democracy. Parents’ warmth and the adolescents’ openness to communication seem to be two major aspects of the democratic workings in the family. Hence, the democratic workings of the family cannot be described fully if adolescents’ behavior is ignored.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 1, no 4, 317-330 p.
Keyword [en]
adolescent attitudes, family relations, parent child communication, parental attitudes, parenting style, democracy, family democracy, adolescents, parent-child relations
National Category
Psychology Social Sciences Social Sciences Social Anthropology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-8745DOI: 10.1080/17405620444000238OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-8745DiVA: diva2:280732
Available from: 2009-12-11 Created: 2009-12-11 Last updated: 2015-02-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Adolescents' role in democratic "parenting"
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adolescents' role in democratic "parenting"
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In research on family democracy there has been a tradition to focus on parents as leaders setting up the family climate. This dissertation challenged this perspective. Keeping with present day’s emphasis on bidirectionality between parents and children democratic family functioning was seen as jointly created by parents and youths. Results showed that youths behaviors and characteristics have to be taken into account if the democratic working of the family is to be fully understood. When controlling for parents’ behaviors, adolescents’ behaviors added significantly to the prediction of a democratic family climate (Study I). Within families, youths democracy compromising behaviors were found to not only have consequences for the individual child. Instead, it was found that changes in younger siblings’ perceptions of family democracy changed as a consequence of an older sibling’s earlier democracy compromising behavior (Study II). Finally, parental openness to communication, youth openness to communication, and parental bad treatment all were found to be separate components of family democracy. Also, these components of family democracy were found to be prospectively linked to adolescents’ perceptions of the democratic climate in their own families. Further, these three components could be used to identify stable family configurations which differed with respect to adolescents’ perceptions of having influence in family matters and their internal-and external adjustment as well as other aspects of the parent-child relationship (Study III). Moreover, changes over-time within families in parental openness to communication, youth openness to communication, and parental bad treatment were associated with changes in youths’ perceptions of having influence in family matters and other features of parent-child relations (Study III). On the whole, these findings lend strong support to seeing children as active agents in the democratic workings of the family and they support a family systems approach to the issue of democratic family functioning. Clearly, young people are human agents with the capacity to interpret and react to their own reality. They are certainly both the harvest and the seeds of democratic family functioning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2009. 62 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 17
Keyword
family democracy, adolescents, bidirecetional, siblings, family system, parenting, communication
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-8737 (URN)978-91-7668-709-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-01-15, Hörsal L2, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-12-11 Created: 2009-12-11 Last updated: 2011-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Persson, StefanStattin, HåkanKerr, Margaret
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