The contributions of mother, father, and friend in attachment and social provisions to adolescent psychosocial development
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AbstractAdolescents' relationships with their parents and peers have long been acknowledged as important contributors to their psychosocial development. The purposes of this investigation were to (a) explore the nature of adolescents' relationships with their mothers, fathers, and most important same-sex friends, (b) assess the relative contributions of these three relationship systems on the psychosocial development of adolescents, and (c) determine whether there are underlying constructs cutting across the different kinds of relationships that predict adolescent psychosocial development. Of particular interest were the separate and unique contributions of attachment style (e.g., secure, preoccupied) with mother, father, and same-sex best friend and the social provisions (e.g., intimacy, conflict) provided by these relationships to psychosocial development. Participants were 232 mid-adolescents (102 males, 130 females; M= 15.1 years) from four Catholic junior and senior high schools in Calgary, Alberta. Participants completed a web-based questionnaire during class that assessed attachment style with their mother, father, and most important same-sex friend (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) and the social provisions (Furman & Buhrmester, 1985) within each relationship. They then completed a series of measures related to psychosocial development, i.e., Emotional Autonomy Scale (Steinberg & Silverberg, 1986), Psychosocial Maturity Inventory (Greenberger & Sorenson, 1974), Psychosocial Inventory of Ego Strengths (Markstrom, Sabino, Turner, & Berman, 1997), and Dellas Identity Status Inventory - Religious Beliefs (Dellas & J emigan, 1987). Adolescents viewed their relationships with mother, father and friend as both independent and interdependent. Secure and insecure attachment relationships were consistent across the three relationship dyads, while social provisions were more differentiated across relationships. Different attachment styles and social provisions were associated with different aspects of psychosocial development. For example, having insecure attachments with and negative interaction provisions from parents and friends were positively associated with emotional autonomy and ego strength; whereas having secure attachment styles with and positive support provisions from parents and friends were positively associated with psychosocial maturity and religious identity. This pattern of findings occurred using either separate measures of attachment styles and social provisions or underlying constructs derived from factor analysis. The relative contributions of mothers, fathers and friends to psychosocial development were discussed.
Bibliography: p. 191-218