Adolescent Outcomes in the Modern Orthodox Community: An Analysis of Parent Reports on Family and Parenting
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The goal of the present study was to explore the impact of family and parenting style on parental reports of adolescent outcomes in the modern Orthodox Jewish community. The various relationships between diverse family dynamics and parenting styles and the attitudes and behaviors of adolescents were examined, including Family Cohesion, Balance and Rigidity as they correlate with outcomes including Academic Achievement, Social Integration or Isolation, Delinquency and the presentation of At-Risk Behavior. The findings of this research are of relevance to parents, educators and other practitioners in the field responsible for educating and nurturing Modern Orthodox adolescents. Modern Orthodox Jewish parents throughout the United States received either a personal email or a listsery message with access through a link to an anonymous internet survey. The survey collected 541 parent responses about individual adolescents. A correlational matrix was used to determine the relationship between the level of Cohesion and the Adolescent Domains on the Stress Index for Parents of Adolescents (SIPA). There was a significant negative relationship between Cohesion and all of the domains. The more cohesive the family, the less stress parents exhibit due to moodiness/emotional liability (r=-.36, p<.001), social isolation (r=-.36, p <.001), delinquency/antisocial (r=-.37, p<.001), failure to persevere (r=-.27, p<.001), adolescent parent relationship domain (r=-.54, p<.001) and overall adolescent domain (r=.39, p<.001). Additionally, an independent samples t-test determined the differences in parental feelings of Incompetence/Guilt based on Balanced family structure. Balanced family structure was defined by parents who have healthy levels of Cohesion and Flexibility as measured by the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES.) There were significant differences in levels of Incompetence/Guilt, t(350) = 3.99, p<.001. Unbalanced parents had higher levels of feelings of Incompetence/Guilt (M3.06, SD=.90) than Balanced parents ( M=2.33, SD.74).;Keywords: Modern Orthodox adolescents, Modern Orthodox family, cohesion, academic achievement.
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