Family Obligation and Assistance during Adolescence: Contextual Variations and Developmental Implications

By William Damon; Andrew J. Fuligni | Go to book overview

This chapter proposes ways to enrich our descriptions of
work, bring out the impact of various circumstances, and
link work contributions to ideas and feelings about family
membership and family relationships
.


1 Work Contributions to the Family:
Developing a Conceptual and Research
Framework

Jacqueline J. Goodnow, Jeanette A. Lawrence

This chapter proposes a particular way of looking at contributions to the functioning or the economy of a family. This framework is applicable to any family member and to contributions of any kind. The application here, however, is to contributions that are made by children and, especially, adolescents and are of the kind known as chores, jobs, or household work.

The search for a general framework is sparked by two concerns. One is the need for a closer fit between the data and the concepts usually brought to bear on work contributions by children and adolescents. The other is a concern with the tendency to treat these contributions in isolation. In principle, the ways in which we think about work contributions by children and adolescents should be extendable to the contributions made by adults in couple relationships or in the course of caregiving for a parent in need of assistance. In practice, those interconnections are seldom made. In principle also, the ways in which we think about work contributions should be extendable to other contributions: contributions, for example, of love, money, respect, obedience, or upholding the honor of the family. In practice, those interconnections are seldom made.

This chapter owes a great deal to discussions with Jennifer Bowes, Judy Cashmore, Joan
Grusec, Andrew Fuligni, and Pamela Warton. The preparation of the chapter was aided
financially by a grant from the Australian Research Council to us, assistance that we hap-
pily acknowledge.

-5-

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