The Relationship between Positive Parental Involvement and Identity Achievement during Adolescence

By Sartor, Carolyn E.; Youniss, James | Adolescence, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

The Relationship between Positive Parental Involvement and Identity Achievement during Adolescence


Sartor, Carolyn E., Youniss, James, Adolescence


The present study explored the role of parental support and monitoring in the development of identity during adolescence. The hypotheses proposed were derived from a combination of literature on parenting, identity formation, and individuation in the family context. Barber's (1997) model of parenting provides a strong theoretical foundation for understanding the relationship between parenting and adolescent identity development. Barber has identified three dimensions of socialization that are necessary for healthy child development. The first is connectedness with significant others, also referred to as warmth. The consistent positive emotions that come from a sense of relatedness with significant others are associated with the development of social skills as well as a sense that the world is safe and predictable. Such a sense of security is crucial for exploration in identity formation.

According to Barber's model, parental regulation of behavior, also known as demandingness, is essential as well in order for children to learn self-regulation. Monitoring adolescents' behavior serves as an induction into the norms of society through teaching appropriate conformity. Because parents socialize their children through the establishment of rules and communication patterns in the family, the degree and quality of parental control and involvement have a major impact on adolescent development.

The third component of Barber's model is facilitation of psychological autonomy through responsiveness to adolescents' need to separate themselves from parents. In healthy parent-adolescent relationships, parents provide structure with enough flexibility that adolescents can securely engage in identity exploration, and adolescents reciprocate by establishing autonomy without sacrificing relatedness (Allen, Hauser, Bell, & O'Connor, 1994). The individuation process involves a shift in self-perception in which adolescents come to see themselves as distinct within the parent-child relational context (Sabatelli & Mazor, 1985). Parental encouragement and support are vital to this process, as adolescents are not leaving behind their parents as they develop their identities. Rather, a qualitative change that permits distancing occurs (Lavoie, 1994). The individuation process is a cooperative endeavor between parent and child that involves the child asserting and parents granting independence while both maintain their connection. Attachment to parents continues through late adolescence (O'Koon, 1997), as adolescents redefine themselves within the family context. The relationship between parents and children is renegotiated from one of asymmetrical authority to a relationship characterized by more reciprocity with elements of both individuation and connectedness (Grotevant & Cooper, 1985). Ideally, parents remain involved without being imposing, thus providing support and sufficient leeway for adolescents to choose and commit to ideological beliefs and personal goals.

The purpose of this study was threefold. First, it was designed to examine three components of parenting as they relate to adolescent identity development. The interrelationships between these components as well as their individual and combined influence on identity development were examined. In this manner, the underlying mechanisms that influence identity formation could be explicated. Specifically, emotional support from parents and parental knowledge of social and school-related activities were measured and used as predictors of adolescent identity achievement. It was hypothesized that high parental awareness of adolescent behavior and parental support would be positively associated with identity achievement.

The second purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in identity achievement. Findings regarding gender differences in adolescent identity achievement have been inconsistent, with differences frequently being absent (Allen et al. …

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

The Relationship between Positive Parental Involvement and Identity Achievement during Adolescence
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

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.