The influence of family perceptions on adolescent social competence
Rychener, Stacey Renee
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Adolescents, mothers', and fathers' perceptions of family cohesion, conflict, and control on the Family Environment Scale was investigated in relation to adolescent selfreport of social competence on the TSBI and a behavioral Interview task. The results partially supported Grotevant and Cooper's (1985, 1986) model of individuation that postulates that both connectedness and separation to the family is associated with adolescent social competence. Adolescents' perceptions of family cohesion and conflict were significantly related to their self-report of social competence. However, father's perceptions of family cohesion were negatively related to adolescent social competence for sons. In addition, father's perceptions of family conflict were positively related to adolescent social competence. These findings suggest a rather complicated relationship exists between fathers and adolescents and should be examined in future research. The findings did not support Bengtson and Kuyper's (1971) "generational stake" model that postulated that parents tend to overestimate positive family characteristics and adolescents tend to underestimate positive family characteristics. Nor did the findings support the hypotheses that similar perceptions of the family among mother, father, and adolescents are related to adolescent social outcomes.