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Family Systems in Contemporary Adolescent Novels: Implications for Behavior Information Modeling

W. Bernard Lukenbill
Family Relations
Vol. 30, No. 2 (Apr., 1981), pp. 219-227
DOI: 10.2307/584134
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/584134
Page Count: 9
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Family Systems in Contemporary Adolescent Novels: Implications for Behavior Information Modeling
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Abstract

In ascertaining the nature of family social interactions appearing in contemporary novels written especially for adolescent readers (ages 11-15), 34 fictional families appearing in 25 novels selected at random were studied. Through content analysis, these variables, based on J. Lewis' study of actual families, were investigated: (a) family structures and parenting behavior; (b) family decision-making processes; (c) autonomy; (d) affect; and (e) global-health-pathology. As a norm, fictional families were not functioning optimally but neither were they dysfunctional. Theoretical questions about the role and use of fiction in the promotion of pro-social adolescent behavior were raised.

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