Summary and Review
As childhood comes to and end and adolescence emerges, young teenagers become more interested in friends and activities away from the family. Many theories suggest that during adolescence there is a higher want for independence and individualization. This leads to a decrease in closeness and an increase in conflict. In result, the adolescents' power in the relationship grows while the parent's power is decreased. For example, if a teen and a parent conflict differences, the parent will withdrawal from the argument. This brings equilibrium in power.
Many studies on parent-adolescent relationships are based on cross-sectional data, which means participants of different age groups were studied at the same point in time. Many relationships change over time, therefore, the cross-sectional data would not be able to show those changes. Researchers of the Research Center of Adolescent Development at Utrecht University wanted to perform a longitudinal study on parent-adolescent relationships because it would show how the relationships between the same group of people develop and change over a period of time. Their focus of the study revolved around support, conflict and power because they were the main points of many theories regarding the development of parent-adolescent relationships. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of the three key dimensions were chosen so that the researchers could compare their results and findings. In the references, the distinctions between the development of early to middle adolescence and the development of middle to late adolescence were made.
In the other findings, both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies show parental support declines from early to middle adolescence and in middle to late adolescence it seems to stabilize. Regarding conflict, both studies found that from early to middle adolescence there were higher levels of conflict. It seemed to become less intense from middle to late. The...