The Nature and Amount of Support College-Age Adolescents Request and Receive from Parents

By Valery, Joan H.; O'Connor, Patricia et al. | Adolescence, Summer 1997 | Go to article overview

The Nature and Amount of Support College-Age Adolescents Request and Receive from Parents


Valery, Joan H., O'Connor, Patricia, Jennings, Sybillyn, Adolescence


Many researchers have suggested that children are able to increase their capacity to deal with aversive stressors through the use of social support (Cauce, Reed, Landesman, & Gonzales, 1990; Cutrona, 1990; Sandler, Miller, Short, & Wolchik, 1989; Thoits, 1986; Wills, Vaccaro, & McNamara, 1992). Thoits (1986) has attempted to reconceptualize social support as coping assistance in an effort to understand underlying mechanisms. Coping assistance can be defined as the active participation of significant others in helping the child manage stressful situations. Coping assistance and social support appear to have several common factors. Both are aimed at managing or changing stressful situations, alleviating or reducing negative feelings that usually accompany exposure to stress, and attempting to resolve problems.

Researchers have identified three different types of assistance individuals need in order to facilitate coping with and adapting to change (Cobb, 1976; Cohen & Wills, 1985; Cutrona, 1990). Emotional support is defined as information parents provide to their children to indicate that they love and care for them (Cobb, 1976; Cohen & Wills, 1985), whereas esteem support is defined as information parents provide to their children to indicate that they value them (Cobb, 1976; Cohen & Wills, 1985; Cutrona, 1990). Instrumental or problem-focused support is a combination of tangible aid (Cohen & Wills, 1985) and information (Cutrona, 1990). These forms of support have been found to be necessary for enhancing the child's well-being (Moran & Eckenrode, 1991; Wills, Vacarro, & McNamara, 1992). Children feel cared for and valued when parents are willing to spend time with them, which may alleviate some of their negative feelings. Feeling that they are part of a family network serves to reduce children's sense of isolation (Cobb, 1976).

There is some evidence that parents' coping assistance is maintained into adolescence, although (developmentally) adolescents are spending less time with their families, more time with peers, and appear to be becoming more autonomous. Still, recent studies (Hoffman, Ushpiz, & Levy-Shiff, 1988; Pipp, Shaver, Jennings, Lamborn, & Fischer, (1985) found that adolescents consider themselves close to their parents and turn to them for guidance and support or comfort. Adolescents turned to peers for help only when parents were unavailable.

Whereas researchers have defined social support as provision of needed information, much of the research concerning its effect on adolescent functioning has measured the size of adolescents' social networks and/or the perception of availability of such support (Aro, Hanninen, & Paronen, 1989; Barrera & Garrison-Jones, 1992; Bell, LeRoy, & Stephenson, 1982; Dean & Lin, 1977; Hoffman, Ushpiz & Levy-Shiff, 1988; Wilcox, 1981). Results of other studies also have suggested that it is the perception of availability of support that serves to protect the individual from the negative consequences of stress (Cohen & Towbes, 1988; Cohen & Wills, 1985; Cummins, 1988; Wethington & Kessler, 1986). Cutrona (1990) and Thoits (1986) both proposed that the type of assistance offered has to be congruent with the individual's need. Additionally, Jessor (1993), in his developmental behavior science paradigm, proposed that the subjective experience of the adolescent needs to be one of several concerns when considering behavior. However, studies have seldom measured actual support requested and/or received. Instead, most studies frequently measure the general perception of parental availability. Thus, it seems useful to identify the type of support adolescents request from their parents and their perceptions of the help received.

Much of the current research concerning social support deals with populations of students in junior and senior high school. Little information is available concerning characteristics of two-year college students (Blocker, Plummer, & Richardson, 1965).

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 ...
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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
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

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Nature and Amount of Support College-Age Adolescents Request and Receive from Parents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
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

Style
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, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

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.