Therapeutic Enhancement of Predictive Skills

By Trad, Paul V. | Adolescence, Winter 1993 | Go to article overview

Therapeutic Enhancement of Predictive Skills

Trad, Paul V., Adolescence


Many adolescent mothers have difficulty envisioning their future relationship with their infants as developmental skills consolidate because the adolescent is simultaneously in the process of negotiating her own developmental challenges. Indeed, early adolescence vies with infancy as a period of rapid biopsychosocial growth (Baumrind, 1987). One of the primary developmental challenges teenagers attempt to achieve is autonomy, and they also experiment with issues of intimacy in relationships. Challenge arises as the transition is made from childhood to adulthood. Because many adolescents experience serious difficulties in adaptation (American Medical Association, 1990; Association for the Advancement of Health Education, 1987; Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1989), it may be posited that adolescents with the added onus of parenthood will experience a greater number and degree of adaptational problems than do their nonparent counterparts. Consequently, it is important to promote adaptive skills in these adolescent mothers in order to prevent conflict in the parent-infant relationship.

Key figures in adolescents' lives help them achieve autonomy and intimacy. Competence in these areas is not simply a function of breaking away from the family, but is a product of negotiated interpersonal relationships (Bell & Bell, 1983; Cooper, Grotevant & Condon, 1988). In cases where parent-child relationships are fused or enmeshed, however, the process of separation and individuation is likely to be charged with psychological conflict (Chodrow, 1978; Kaplan, 1984). Although the process of individuation begins early in life (Mahler, Pine, & Bergman, 1975), it becomes increasingly evident during the transition to puberty as the physical signs of adulthood begin to emerge. While research has correlated pubertal maturation and conflicted interactions in parent-child dyads regardless of gender, this association is particularly prevalent with mother-daughter dyads (Anderson, Hetherington, & Clingempeel, 1989; Hill, Holmbeck, Marlow, Green & Lynch, 1985a, b; Papini & Sebby, 1987, 1988; Savin-Williams & Small, 1986; Steinberg, 1987, 1988; Steinberg & Hill, 1978). For example, young adolescents describe relationships with their mothers as being closer than with their fathers (Pipp, Shaver, Jennings, Lamborn, & Fisher, 1985). This intimacy may cause the mother-daughter relationship to be more turbulent and conflicted. Menarche, a physical sign of the transition to adolescence, appears to be correlated with parent-adolescent conflict (Hill, Holmbeck, Marlow, Green, & Lynch, 1985a), particularly within mother-daughter dyads (Holmbeck & Hill, 1991). In addition, the adolescent daughter's self-esteem has been positively related to maternal support and validation, while this characteristic is unrelated to paternal validation and negatively related to paternal support (Bell & Bell, 1983). Thus, the dynamics surrounding the adolescent's relationship with her parents--in particular, her mother--along with her physical and psychological transition to autonomy, may predict the kind of relationship she will forge with her infant.

For adolescent mothers, the relationship of the teenager with her own mother contributes substantially to her transformation as a parent and her ability to manifest intuitive skills such as previewing (Trad, 1989), which enables her to envision the future relationship with the infant. Each skill the infant achieves may be viewed as a sign of the infant's increasing individuation and autonomy. Under normal circumstances, parent and infant continuously adjust their exchanges to reflect the developmental status of each. Thus, the relationship between the adolescent mother and her infant is unique in the sense that both dyadic partners are confronted by the same challenge at the same time-- asserting their autonomy. Indeed, one of the adolescent's motivations for becoming pregnant may be to assert individuation and to separate from her own mother. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Therapeutic Enhancement of Predictive Skills


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.