Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

A special issue of Youth (ISSN 2673-995X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 5263

Special Issue Editors

School of Law, Psychology, and Social Work, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
Interests: parenting; parent-child relationships; adolescent development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Law, Psychology, and Social Work, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
Interests: antisocial behavior; adolescent development; psychopathic traits

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The parent-child relationship constitutes the starting point for future relationships and is important for children’s adjustment and well-being. Numerous studies show that a positive parent-child relationship is linked to various positive outcomes in children. The parent-child relationship, however, is not static—it develops and changes as the child gets older. Adolescence and young adulthood are periods in which children develop independence and have an increased need for other social relationships in addition to the relationship with their parents. It is also a time when children spend more time outside the family context and develop their own interests and values. For these reasons, characteristics of the parent-child relationship that are positive and beneficial for children in younger ages are not necessarily the same in adolescence and young adulthood. Additionally, new societal changes, including technological advances and extended cultural influences, have an impact on the parent-child relationship. It is of increasing interest to study both historical and new characteristics of parent-child relationships in adolescence and young adulthood that have consequences for children and their parents.

This Special Issue of the journal Youth offers an opportunity to publish high-quality papers relating to parent-child relationships in adolescence and young adulthood. This encompasses both positive and beneficial aspects of the parent-child relationship in these developmental periods, as well as challenges specific to the relationship between parents and children in these ages. Also of interest is how these specific characteristics are related to outcomes for children and parents. We welcome contributions from all the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, family studies, history, law, public health, public policy, social policy, sociology, social work, and psychology. Empirical reports, analytical reviews, and theoretically informed reflections will be considered. Inter- and multi-disciplinary submissions are encouraged.

This Special Issue will highlight recent research work conducted on this topic, contributing to current and future trends. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by experts in the field and should be submitted by 30 September 2023.

Dr. Terese Glatz
Dr. Selma Salihovic
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Youth is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • parent-child relationships
  • adolescence
  • young adulthood

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Hovering Is Not Helping: Relationships among Helicopter Parenting, Attachment, Academic Outcomes, and Mental Health in College Students
Youth 2024, 4(1), 260-271; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth4010018 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Helicopter parenting (or overparenting) refers to developmentally inappropriate or intrusive tactics to control a child’s behavior. Helicopter parents are usually trying to help their children, but their behavior has been associated with adverse academic, adjustment, and mental health outcomes in older children (i.e., [...] Read more.
Helicopter parenting (or overparenting) refers to developmentally inappropriate or intrusive tactics to control a child’s behavior. Helicopter parents are usually trying to help their children, but their behavior has been associated with adverse academic, adjustment, and mental health outcomes in older children (i.e., adolescents, young adults), who should be developing more autonomy. The current study examined potential associations between helicopter parenting, attachment security, and academic and mental health outcomes in college students, hypothesizing that higher rates of helicopter parenting would be associated with more insecure attachment with parental figures and closest friends, poorer mental health (i.e., higher rates of depression and/or anxiety), and reduced academic motivation, performance, and self-efficacy. Our sample of 135 college students completed measures of anxiety, depression, and somatization, academic self-efficacy and motivation, perceptions of parental involvement, and dimensions of attachment in multiple relationships (i.e., mother, father, and closest friend). As expected, the bivariate and regression analyses revealed that higher levels of parental involvement (i.e., helicopter parenting) predicted significantly more insecure parental and peer attachment, greater internalizing, and lower effort regulation among college students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood)
14 pages, 708 KiB  
Article
Interplay between Parental Knowledge and Adolescent Inebriation, and Their Links to Parent–Child Relationships over Time
Youth 2024, 4(1), 163-176; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth4010012 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 388
Abstract
While parental knowledge of adolescents’ whereabouts is generally considered to be a key protective factor for adolescent alcohol use, the developmental links during adolescence are unclear. Focusing on within-family processes on a sample of Swedish early to late adolescents (n = 782; [...] Read more.
While parental knowledge of adolescents’ whereabouts is generally considered to be a key protective factor for adolescent alcohol use, the developmental links during adolescence are unclear. Focusing on within-family processes on a sample of Swedish early to late adolescents (n = 782; 49% female) over four waves of data, we (1) tested the interplay between parental knowledge and adolescent alcohol inebriation, (2) investigated whether changes over time in parental knowledge and adolescent inebriation were linked to the parent–child relationship, and (3) tested the moderating role of adolescent gender and SES on these potential links. The results from random intercept cross-lagged panel models showed that increases in parental knowledge predicted decreases in frequencies of adolescent inebriation the following year as well a more positive parent–child relationship over time. Increases in adolescent inebriation were predicted by less parental knowledge only in late adolescence. These links were not moderated by adolescent gender or SES. The results emphasize the importance of increasing parental knowledge of adolescent activities in order to reduce adolescent involvement in heavy alcohol use as well as the importance of parent–child closeness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood)
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11 pages, 236 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 and Family and Peer Dynamics in Emerging Adults
Youth 2024, 4(1), 124-134; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth4010009 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Although research on the associations between COVID-19 and social relationships has garnered attention, there has been less of a focus on how COVID-19 was discussed within relationships themselves. The present study deepens the understanding of the wide reach of the pandemic by using [...] Read more.
Although research on the associations between COVID-19 and social relationships has garnered attention, there has been less of a focus on how COVID-19 was discussed within relationships themselves. The present study deepens the understanding of the wide reach of the pandemic by using quantitative surveys and open-ended responses to explore how individuals discussed and reacted to COVID-19 and related health guidelines in the context of their family and peer relationships. Data were collected from 132 young adults in the U.S. (age = 18.9 years, SD = 0.85; 50% female; 14% ethnically racially minoritized students) using standard procedures established by the university’s undergraduate research pool. Results suggest that young adults talked about COVID-19 more with their families than with their peers. They also reported sharing similar opinions about the pandemic with both their family and their peers. Young adults described COVID-19, overall, as having positive net effects within their family relationships but straining their peer relationships. Qualitative data provide additional, detailed insight on how the pandemic shifted interpersonal dynamics and family and peer relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood)
17 pages, 553 KiB  
Article
Parent-Child Relationship, Well-Being and Home-Leaving during the Transition from High School to University
Youth 2024, 4(1), 80-96; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth4010006 - 05 Jan 2024
Viewed by 466
Abstract
This prospective study examined changes in parent–child relationship quality and well-being during the transition to university. We also investigated whether living situation (i.e., moving out of the parental home) and motivation to leave home were related to these changes. The participants were 240 [...] Read more.
This prospective study examined changes in parent–child relationship quality and well-being during the transition to university. We also investigated whether living situation (i.e., moving out of the parental home) and motivation to leave home were related to these changes. The participants were 240 Turkish university students (65.4% female; Mage = 17.74 (0.53) at Time 1) participating in two measurement waves from 2017 to 2019. Results of Latent Change Score Models revealed that both autonomy support of fathers and perceived stress decreased over time, while other parent–child relationship qualities and life satisfaction remain relatively stable on average. First-year university students who left home showed less decline in stress than those still living at home. We did not find living situation and motivation to leave home to moderate changes in parent–child relationship quality and well-being. Furthermore, we found bidirectional associations mainly between parent–child relationship quality and life satisfaction and between conflict with mother and stress. These findings underline the importance of considering the changes in parent–child relationship quality and well-being in the transition to university in a family-oriented culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood)
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14 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Person-Oriented Profiles Can Clarify Variable-Oriented Associations: The Example of Communication with Parents and Adolescents’ Mental Health Problems
Youth 2024, 4(1), 42-55; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth4010004 - 03 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 481
Abstract
Background: Variable-oriented analyses of time trends in the ease of communicating with mothers and fathers in the Swedish HBSC (Health and Behavior in School-aged Children) dataset show that communication problems with fathers, but not with mothers, positively predict mental health problems among adolescents. [...] Read more.
Background: Variable-oriented analyses of time trends in the ease of communicating with mothers and fathers in the Swedish HBSC (Health and Behavior in School-aged Children) dataset show that communication problems with fathers, but not with mothers, positively predict mental health problems among adolescents. This similarity across years is likely to lead to high structural stability in person-oriented analyses across survey years, providing opportunities to uncover typical communication patterns in a robust way. A person-oriented method, cluster analysis, was used in this study to clarify these variable-oriented findings on the prediction of mental health problems. Methods: The Swedish HBSC dataset of 15-year-olds for 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018, with a total of 9255 participants, was used for variable- and person-oriented analyses. Results: Person-oriented analyses of ease of communication with the mother and ease of communication with the father show that poor communication with both parents is associated with the worst mental health problems. They also show that when there is poor communication with mothers, in most cases, adolescents also have poor communication with fathers. The variable-oriented analyses do not show that mental health problems are highest when adolescents find it difficult to communicate with both parents. Conclusions: Person-oriented analyses offer the possibility of drawing more specific conclusions about family conditions that affect adolescents’ mental health. More generally, person-oriented analyses are likely to clarify the results of variable-oriented analyses in many other areas also. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood)
15 pages, 645 KiB  
Article
Conflicts in Adolescence and Their Association with Closeness: Results of a Multi-Perspective Study from Germany
Youth 2023, 3(4), 1363-1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth3040085 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Adolescence is marked by rapid biological and psychosocial changes that profoundly impact parent–child communication in order to reorganize responsibilities and move toward a more egalitarian relationship. Therefore, our primary objective in the present study was to explore the influence of changing conflict frequency [...] Read more.
Adolescence is marked by rapid biological and psychosocial changes that profoundly impact parent–child communication in order to reorganize responsibilities and move toward a more egalitarian relationship. Therefore, our primary objective in the present study was to explore the influence of changing conflict frequency and intensity on the perceived level of closeness between parents and adolescents, considering the perspectives of both parties involved. Using 10-wave longitudinal data with measures of parents (n = 17,005) and their children (n = 15,841) aged seven to 16 from the German Panel “Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics” (pairfam), the present study used fixed-effects models to address the research goal. The findings indicate that, for parents and adolescents, an increase in both conflict frequency and intensity corresponds to a more pronounced decline in closeness. Higher levels of initial closeness when the participants entered the survey resulted in milder decreases in closeness when conflict intensity was higher, a pattern observed for both parents and adolescents. Regarding conflict frequency, no impact of initial closeness was discerned among parents, while an opposing effect was found among adolescents. These findings shed light on changes in parent–child communication during the transition from early to middle adolescence, underscoring the need for further exploration of the closeness–conflict association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood)
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18 pages, 1825 KiB  
Article
Adolescents’ Perceived Changes in Internalizing Symptoms during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Father Internalizing Symptoms and Parent Support in Germany and Slovakia
Youth 2023, 3(4), 1194-1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth3040076 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
This preregistered study examined the relation between adolescents’ perceived changes in internalizing symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic and four different family and peer relationships in two countries. Using a bioecological framework, we interviewed mothers, fathers, and adolescents from 212 families in Germany and [...] Read more.
This preregistered study examined the relation between adolescents’ perceived changes in internalizing symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic and four different family and peer relationships in two countries. Using a bioecological framework, we interviewed mothers, fathers, and adolescents from 212 families in Germany and Slovakia during the COVID-19 pandemic. In both countries, we found that higher levels of father internalizing symptoms exacerbated the relation between pandemic disruption and increases in pandemic-related adolescent internalizing symptoms. Similarly, parental support buffered the relation between adolescent perceptions of COVID-19 disruption and increases in the adolescents’ internalizing symptoms. Peer support and parental warmth were not associated with changes in adolescent-reported internalizing symptoms during the study period. The fathers’ symptoms of anxiety and depression during stressful life events may impact the parent–child relationship by changing the children’s perceptions of parent–child attachment, which may, in turn, be associated with higher levels of adolescent internalizing symptoms. Higher levels of parental support, however, may have helped protect adolescents from some of the more negative aspects of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parent-Child Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood)
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