Brief report: Agreement between parent and adolescent autonomy expectations and its relationship to adolescent adjustment.
(Disponible solo en inglés:) While disagreement in autonomy expectations between parents and their adolescent children is normative, it may also compromise adolescent adjustment. This study examines the association between parents' and adolescents' agreement on autonomy expectations by cognitive social domains and adolescent adjustment. A sample of 211 Chilean dyads of adolescents (57% female, Mage = 15.29 years) and one of their parents (82% mothers, Mage = 44.36 years) reported their expectations for the age at which adolescents should decide on their own regarding different issues in their life. Indexes of parent–adolescent agreement on autonomy expectations were estimated for issues of personal and prudential domains. Greater agreement in the prudential than in the personal domain was observed. For boys and girls, higher agreement in adolescent–parent autonomy expectations in the personal domain was associated with lower substance use. A negative association between level of agreement in adolescent–parent autonomy expectations in the prudential domain and externalizing behaviors and substance use was found.
Developmental change in parent–adolescent interactions involves mutual adjustment to new expectations for autonomous behavior in parent–child dyads. Realignment of power and mutual expectations are described as part of the normative transition in parent–adolescent relationships. Adolescents’ push for autonomy and changes in their views of parental authority (Cumsille, Darling, Flaherty, & Martínez, 2006; Smetana, Crean, & Campione-Barr, 2005) likely contribute to different perceptions and expectations regarding what issues parents should continue to regulate and at what age adolescents are capable of autonomous decision-making. Previous studies have found that parents and adolescents typically disagree in their reports of family conflict (Dekovic, Noom, & Meeus, 1997; Laursen, Coy, & Collins, 1998), beliefs about the legitimacy of parental authority (Rote & Smetana, 2016; Smetana, 2011), and parental monitoring (Keijsers, Branje, VanderValk, & Meeus, 2010).
Pérez, J. C., Cumsille, P., & Martínez, M. L. (2016). Brief report: Agreement between parent and adolescent autonomy expectations and its relationship to adolescent adjustment. Journal of Adolescence, 53, 10-15. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.08.010