This prospective study used longitudinal, multi-reporter data to examine the influence of parents’ marital relationship functioning on subsequent adolescent romantic relationships. Consistent with Bryant and Conger’s model for the development of early adult romantic relationships (DEARR; 2002), we found that interactional styles, more specifically paternal aggression and satisfaction, exhibited in parents’ marital relationship when their adolescents were age 13, were predictive of qualities of the adolescent’s romantic relationships five years later. Continuities were domain specific: paternal satisfaction predicted adolescent satisfaction and paternal aggression predicted adolescent aggression. Attachment security moderated the link between paternal aggression and subsequent adolescent aggression, with continuities between negative conflictual styles across relationships reduced for secure adolescents. Results are interpreted as suggesting that attachment may help attenuated the transmission of destructive conflict strategies across generations.
The legacy of Stuart Hauser's research into the developmental transformation that takes place from the adolescent living within his or her family to the young adult functioning independently is assessed. Four major themes are identified in this work: the interplay between the intrapsychic and the interpersonal; the need to understand the family in developmental context; the links between development and psychopathology; and the role of resilience in human psychological functioning. Hauser's broad, integrative, and fundamentally optimistic perspective on human nature is discussed as providing a roadmap to guide future research in this area.
The early adolescent’s state of mind in the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) is more closely linked to social interactions with peers, who are unlikely to serve as attachment figures, than it is to (i) qualities of the adolescent’s interactions with parents, (ii) the AAI of the adolescent’s mother, or (iii) the adolescent’s prior Strange Situation behavior. This unexpected finding suggests the value of reconceptualizing AAI autonomy/security as a marker of the adolescent’s capacity for emotion regulation in social interactions. Supporting this, we note that the AAI was originally validated not as a marker of attachment experiences or expectations with one’s caregivers, but as a predictor of caregiving capacity sufficient to produce secure offspring. As such, the AAI may be fruitfully viewed as primarily assessing social emotion regulation capacities that support both strong caregiving skills and strong skills relating with peers.
The frequently observed link between maternal depressive symptoms and heightened maternal reporting of adolescent externalizing behavior was examined from an integrative, systems perspective using a community sample of 180 adolescents, their mothers, fathers, and close peers, assessed twice over a three-year period. Consistent with this perspective, the maternal depressionadolescent externalizing link was found to reflect not simply maternal reporting biases, but heightened maternal sensitivity to independently observable teen misbehavior as well as longterm, predictive links between maternal symptoms and teen behavior. Maternal depressive symptoms predicted relative increases over time in teen externalizing behavior. Child effects were also found, however, in which teen externalizing behavior predicted future relative increases in maternal depressive symptoms. Findings are interpreted as revealing a tightly-linked behavioralaffective system in families with mothers experiencing depressive symptoms and teens engaged in externalizing behavior, and further suggest that research on depressive symptoms in women with adolescent offspring should now consider offspring externalizing behaviors as a significant risk factor.
This study used longitudinal, multi-reporter data, in a community sample, to examine the role of rejection sensitivity in late adolescents’ social and emotional development. Rejection sensitivity was linked to a relative increase in adolescent depressive and anxiety symptoms over a three-year period, even after accounting for teens’ baseline level of social competence. Additionally, reciprocal relationships emerged between rejection sensitivity and internalizing symptoms. Rejection sensitivity was also linked to relative decreases in peer-reports of teens’ social competence over a three-year period. Consistent with research on gendered socialization, males reported higher levels of rejection sensitivity than females at age 16 and 17. Results are interpreted as highlighting the importance of rejection sensitivity in understanding late adolescent social and emotional development.
This study examined online communication on social networking web pages in a longitudinal sample of 92 youths (39 male, 53 female). Participants' social and behavioral adjustment was assessed when they were ages 13–14 years and again at ages 20–22 years. At ages 20–22 years, participants' social networking website use and indicators of friendship quality on their web pages were coded by observers. Results suggested that youths who had been better adjusted at ages 13–14 years were more likely to be using social networking web pages at ages 20–22 years, after statistically controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, and parental income. Overall, youths' patterns of peer relationships, friendship quality, and behavioral adjustment at ages 13–14 years and at ages 20–22 years predicted similar qualities of interaction and problem behavior on their social networking websites at ages 20–22 years. Findings are consistent with developmental theory asserting that youths display cross-situational continuity in their social behaviors and suggest that the conceptualization of continuity may be extended into the online domain.