Adolescents' perceptions of how their parents shape their friendships
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This study explored adolescents' perceptions of how their parents shape their friendships. Specifically, parents' messages about friendships were examined, and how these messages related to adolescents' relationships with their friends. Adolescents' perceptions of parental messages were assessed using qualitative methods. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted over two years with a sample of 20 black and Latino adolescents (five black and five Latina girls, and five black and five Latino boys) at a large New York City public high school in the fall and winters of 1997 and 1998. 1 Qualitative data analyses focused on addressing the following questions: (1) What are the messages parents convey to their adolescent children about friendships; (2) What are the links between parental messages about friendships and adolescents' friendships over time; (3) What are the gender and/or ethnic similarities and differences in the messages as well as the links between parental messages and relationships adolescents have with their friends? Results indicated that adolescents perceived their parents as varying in their level of support of friendships while all parents were wary of their teens having friends. Relationship closeness to parents affected whether parental messages were listened to or ignored. Despite parental warnings, many adolescents reported stable, close friendships.;1This research was part of a larger, longitudinal study of friendships among adolescents from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The Principal Investigator was Dr. Niobe Way. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation.
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