THE ROLE OF OBJECT RELATIONS DURING EARLY ADOLESCENCE
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This study examines the role of object relations as they relate to certain areas of adolescent functioning. Traditional or classical views of adolescence regard it as a time as filled with conflict. This study considers whether certain adolescents with high levels of developed object relations experience, as measured by their actual behavior, enhanced ego strength, impulse control, and positive peer relations. It also examines whether differences in adjustment are related to differences in object relations.;A Thematic Rorschach measure of object relations was applied to a group of 36 adolescents, 13 to 15 years of age from Middle School and High School. In addition to these psychodynamic measures, the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire was used to measure actual behavior in terms of impulse control, peer relations, coping-ego strength, and adjustment. The Loevinger Scale also measured ego strength.;The results indicated that no statistical differences were found in any of these areas of adolescent functioning as based upon differences in levels of developed object relations. Psychodynamic measures did not correlate with measures of actual behavior.;Therefore, nothing definitive could be stated regarding the role of object relations during the early phase of adolescence. The lack of significant findings in this study might be attributed to several methodological limitations. One possible limitation is the homogeneity among the adolescents selected for this study. Adolescents may have been more similar to each other. Such homogeneity might have contributed to the lack of contrast between the well-adjusted and non-well-adjusted groups of adolescents.
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