Adolescents' Intimacy with Parents and Friends

By Field, Tiffany; Lang, Claudia et al. | Adolescence, Spring 1995 | Go to article overview

Adolescents' Intimacy with Parents and Friends


Field, Tiffany, Lang, Claudia, Yando, Regina, Bendell, Debra, Adolescence


Separate literatures support the importance of intimate relationships of adolescents with parents and peers. In studies on adolescents' relationships with parents, the majority of adolescents have been noted to feel close to and get along with their parents (Richardson, Galambos, Schulenberg, & Petersen, 1984). The parent relationship literature, however, contains very little data on the association between adolescents' intimacy with their parents and other psychological variables such as self-esteem and depression or problem behaviors characteristic of adolescence including drug use and risk-taking.

In contrast, in the literature on adolescents' relationships with peers, those adolescents with supportive friendships are noted to have greater self-esteem, less depression, and better adjustment to school (Berndt & Savin-Williams, in press). Because the parent and peer relationship literatures do not overlap, little is known about the relative relationships between intimacy with parents and friends and these other important psychological and problem-behavior variables.

The purpose of the present study was to determine how intimacy with mother, father, and close friend varied as a function of demographic variables (sex, ethnicity, and SES), social and school variables (family responsibility-taking, sex of friends, presence of boyfriend/girlfriend, interest in school, and academic expectations), psychological variables (self-esteem and depression), and problem behaviors (drug use and risk-taking). Several of these variables were categorical, and others were submitted to median splits with intimacy scale scores as dependent measures.

METHOD

Subjects

A questionnaire comprised of several scales was administered to 455 adolescents ranging in age from 14 to 19 years (M = 16.6). Half the adolescents were female (54%), and their ethnicity consisted of 33% white non-Hispanic, 48% Hispanic, 12% black, and 5% Asian, with the remaining 2% from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Distribution of their socioeconomic status was 17% low to low middle, 50% middle, and 33% upper middle to upper class.

Procedure

The questionnaire was administered anonymously to the students in their classrooms near the end of the school year. Students were informed that the purpose of the study was to learn more about their interpersonal relationships and how they felt about different areas affecting their lives. The scales required 45 minutes to complete, and answers were checked on computer scan sheets.

Measures

The questionnaire tapped the following areas of interest:

Background and Lifestyle (Field & Yando, 1991). This section includes questions on demographics (gender, ethnicity, and self-perceived socioeconomic status), relationships (number of close friends, gender of friends, and presence of boyfriend/girlfriend), school (interest in school and academic expectations), problem behaviors (suicidal thoughts and drug/alcohol use), and self-contentment.

Intimacy (Blyth & Foster-Clark, 1987). This scale (Cronbach's alpha = .85; test-retest reliability = .81) assesses level of intimacy with mother, father, and best friend. Examples of the 24 questions, which are divided into 3 subscales (one for mother, one for father, and one for best friend) are: How important is your mother/father/best friend) to you? The five-choice answers vary from "Not at All" to "Very Much." High scores signify greater intimacy.

Family Responsibility (Field & Yando, 1991). This 10-item scale (Cronbach's alpha = .65; test-retest reliability = .81) was developed to tap students' feelings of responsibility within the family. Examples of the questions include inquiries about doing housework, making mother/father (to whomever the student feels closest) feel better when she/he is "down," and having more responsibilities than peers. Likert-type answers with four choices range from "Rarely" to "Very Often. …

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
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

Adolescents' Intimacy with Parents and Friends
Settings

Settings

Typeface
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

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.