Adolescent Psychology Issues There Will Always Be Essay

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Adolescent Psychology Issues

There will always be some conflict between adolescents and their parents because growing up means finding one's own way -- relating to the world through youthful, sometimes naive eyes -- while also being instructed and guided by one's parents. But the intensity of conflict and the reasons for conflict in this parent-adolescent genre differ dramatically, and have different impacts on adolescents as they grow and mature. The research article by Barbara Allison and Jerelyn Schultz delves into the parent-adolescent conflict during the "early years" of adolescence, which the authors claim has received "much less attention" than the adolescent years (12 to 18).

Parent-Adolescent Conflict in Early Adolescence

According to Allison et al., their checklist given to 357 young people (grades 6, 7, and 8) revealed many conflicts with parents "…over a sizable number of issues." And during this period of adolescent -- parental contentiousness, Allison's research shows that the greatest number of conflicts between youthful offspring and parents occurred while the adolescents in this survey were in 7th grade (Allison, 2004, p 101). The exchanges between daughters and parents were "…consistently more intense" than those arguments between sons and parents.

The authors present a number of research projects that have been published, which shows consistently that the "highest levels" of conflict happen in early adolescence and the lowest levels of parent-adolescent conflict occurs "…in late adolescence" (Allison, 102). The work of several research projects shows that conflict has often been linked to "the degree and/or timing of pubertal maturation" and not necessarily age, Allison continues.
Other studies show on a consistent basis that gender enters into the dynamics of parent-adolescent tensions; in fact, more often than not, the conflict involving parents and adolescents is between mothers and their adolescent children -- and in particular, the conflict is a "daughter-mother dyad" (Allison, 102).

The authors complain that little research has been done on the early adolescent years; the reason why Allison and Schultz take this position is because the early years of adolescence are "associated with relational changes in the family." Those family changes tend to exacerbate the existing tensions, and hence, the authors' disappointment in the dearth of research during that important window of time, so the fact that there is a lack of research in this specific age is puzzling to the authors.

A significant amount of the previous research that Allison references the fact that puberty (and the psychological changes occurring at that time) may be at least one contributing factor to the conflicts. Other research (Steinberg and Hill, 1978) reflects that there are "…heightened levels of conflict, oppositional behavior, and emotional distancing" -- along with "lower levels" of satisfaction experienced by parents -- that are quite apart from pubertal maturation issues (Allison, 103). During this time, the research shows, the….....

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