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Parent-Adolescent Communication and the Circumplex Model

Howard L. Barnes and David H. Olson
Child Development
Vol. 56, No. 2, Family Development and the Child (Apr., 1985), pp. 438-447
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129732
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129732
Page Count: 10
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Parent-Adolescent Communication and the Circumplex Model
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Abstract

This study tested the relationship between parent-adolescent communication and the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems. While most studies of the Circumplex Model have focused on problem families, this study used fathers, mothers, and adolescents from 426 "normal" families. Family scores were developed and used to help describe the type of family system. Because of generational differences in terms of how parents and adolescents perceived their communication, separate analysis was done for each group. It was hypothesized that Balanced families (Circumplex Model) would have more positive parent-adolescent communication than Extreme families. This hypothesis was clearly supported for the parents but not for the adolescents. In contrast to the conflicting findings using individual level analysis (parents and adolescents), the findings at the family level using discriminant analysis indicated a linear relationship between parent-adolescent communication and the Circumplex dimensions (cohesion, adaptability) and family satisfaction. Families with good parent-adolescent communication perceived themselves in terms of the Circumplex Model as higher on family cohesion, family adaptability, and family satisfaction.

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