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Adolescents who are involved in mutually hostile interactions: generalization from home to other contexts
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden. (Center for Developmental Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2294-2256
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden. (Center for Developmental Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7546-2275
2014 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One of the central issues in parenting research is what children transfer from the family to other contexts. In most families, children learn to respect others and live harmoniously, and this is what they take with them. In some families, however, interactions are not harmonious, but are characterized by mutual hostility. Extreme examples are the coercive cycles described by Patterson (1982), the associations between parents’ low perceived power and their proneness to use harshness when faced with a difficult child (Bugental, et al., 1999), and the intimate connection in abusing families between overt opposition in children and parents’ readiness for using severe punishment, rather than reasoning (Trickett & Kuczynski, 1986). Some research focused on the influence of these kinds of parent-child interactions on children’s behavior toward others at school and in other contexts, but little is known about the possible connections between mutually hostile parent-child interactions and mutually hostile interactions in other settings. Do these interaction patterns get transferred from the home to other settings, and if so, how should this be explained? In this study we examined whether adolescents involved in mutually hostile interactions with their parents encounter similar mutual hostility interactions in other contexts. We used a longitudinal design, following mid- adolescents over one year (N = 1289, 621 males and 668 females, Mage = 13.85, SD = 0.75). They were 7th grade students in a mid-sized town in Sweden. The results showed that adolescents involved in mutual hostility at home tended to be the same ones who were involved in mutual hostility at school and in their free time.  This relationship between mutual hostility interactions at home and mutual hostility interactions in other contexts was also confirmed longitudinally.  Being involved in reciprocated conflicts at home at Time 1 increased adolescents’ likelihood to get involved in mutually hostile interactions with peers and with teachers at Time 2.  The opposite was also true: being involved in mutual hostility with peers at school and in the free-time increased youths’ likelihood to be involved in mutual hostility at home. The influence of home on other settings in the transmission of mutual hostility remained significant even when we took into account the influence of adolescents’ impulsivity and anger dysregulation.  Overall, the results point at the important role mutual hostility at home has on the generalization of maladaptive behaviors across everyday settings, but that, in adolescence, the reciprocal is also valid. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
mutual hostility, youths' adjustment, generalization of hostility, contexts
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44234OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44234DiVA: diva2:803824
Conference
14th Biennial Meeting of the European Association for Research on Adolescence, Cesme, Turkey, September 3-6, 2014
Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2015-04-16Bibliographically approved

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Trifan, Tatiana AlinaStattin, Håkan
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