روابط بین فردی و پریشانی عاطفی در دوران نوجوانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|34123||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7394 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Adolescence, Volume 36, Issue 2, April 2013, Pages 351–360
The aim of this study was to examine positive and negative qualities in adolescents' interpersonal relationships and their relative importance in predicting emotional distress. Participants were 260 students from three schools in the Dublin area (119 girls; 141 boys), aged 12–18 years (M = 15.32, SD = 1.91). Students completed questionnaires assessing qualities in important interpersonal relationships in their lives and emotional distress. Girls reported more positive qualities in their relationships with mothers and best friends than boys. Younger students reported more positive qualities in their relationships with parents than older students. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed high levels of satisfaction in interpersonal relationships were predictive of low levels of emotional distress whereas high levels of criticism and exclusion were predictive of high levels of distress. High levels of support and disclosure were also linked to emotional distress. These findings and their implications are discussed in detail.
Adolescence is a time of changing social relationships. During this period, young people move away from parental authority and increasingly turn to peers as a source of support and companionship (Helsen, Vollebergh, & Meeus, 2000; McElhaney, Allen, Stephenson, & Hare, 2009). In Western culture, adolescence is also the time when most individuals experience their first romantic relationships (Furman, Low, & Ho, 2009). Theory suggests that the formation and maintenance of stable interpersonal relationships is a fundamental human motivation (Baumeister & Leary, 1995) and research findings have consistently indicated that poor quality relationships are linked to negative mental health outcomes in young people (Allen, Porter, McFarland, McElhaney, & Marsh, 2007; Branje, Hale, Frijns, & Meeus, 2010; Jenkins, Goodness, & Buhrmester, 2002; La Greca & Harrison, 2005; Molcho, Nic Gabhainn & Kelleher, 2007; Sheeber, Davis, Leve, Hops, & Tildesley, 2007; Stice, Ragan, & Randall, 2004). The overall quality of a young person's relationship can be conceptualised as comprising of a number of positive and negative components, which represent the overall supportive and discordant qualities in the relationship. Positive relationship qualities are comprised of companionship, disclosure, emotional support, approval and satisfaction and negative relationship qualities are comprised of conflict, criticism, pressure, dominance and exclusion (Furman & Buhrmester, Network of Relationships Questionnaire Manual). Relationship with parents during adolescence During adolescence individuals' relationships with their parents undergo change. As they struggle to develop autonomy, they spend a decreasing amount of time with their parents and throughout this period a moderate degree of parent–adolescent conflict is normal (Montemayor, 1983; Santrock, 2003). Research suggests that conflict with parents is at its highest in early to middle adolescence and then decreases as adolescents mature (De Goede, Branje, & Meeus, 2009; Furman & Buhrmester, 1992). Older adolescents tend to report less support (Cheng & Chan, 2004; Helsen et al., 2000; Scholte, Van Lieshout, & Van Aken, 2001) and more autonomy (Mayseless, Wiseman, & Hai, 1998) in their relationships with their parents than younger adolescents, however studies have suggested that overall emotional closeness with parents remains stable across age (Mayseless et al., 1998; Smetana, Metzger, & Campione-Barr, 2004). Girls generally report better quality, more supportive relationships with their mothers than boys (Branje et al., 2010; Furman & Buhrmester, 1992; Paterson, Field, & Pryor, 1994; Smetana, Metzger, Gettman, & Campione-Barr, 2006). There is also evidence to suggest that boys perceive their relationships with their fathers to be closer and more supportive than girls (Furman & Buhrmester, 1992; Starrells, 1994) and young people generally identify with their same-sex parent more than their opposite-sex parent (Starrells, 1994). Interestingly, in terms of conflict, previous research has suggested that both boys and girls report higher degrees of conflict with their mothers than with anyone else in their social network (Laursen, 1995; Montemayor, 1983). Parental relationships and mental health Positive qualities in parent–adolescent relationships such as high levels of support (Helsen et al., 2000; Jenkins et al., 2002; Meadows, Brown, & Elder, 2006; Sheeber et al., 2007; Vazsonyi & Belliston, 2006), warmth (Greenberger, Chen, Tally, & Dong, 2000) and approval (Vazsonyi & Belliston, 2006) are associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms in young people. While some degree of conflict with parents is considered to be normal during adolescence (Smetana, Campione-Barr, & Metzger, 2006), prolonged, intense and repeated conflict is frequently associated with poor psychological adjustment (Barber & Delfabbro, 2000; Branje et al., 2010; Jenkins et al., 2002; Sheeber et al., 2007; Vazsonyi & Belliston, 2006). Other negative qualities such as high levels of over-intrusive and authoritarian parental control (Rigby, Slee, & Martin, 2007), and low levels of perceived parental communication (Ackard, Neumark-Sztainer, Story, & Perry, 2006) have also been significantly associated with negative well-being in adolescence. Furthermore, a concerning finding by Wedig and Nock (2007) was that high levels of parental criticism were associated with self-harm behaviour in young people. To date there is a lack of research examining the relationship between parental criticism and symptoms of emotional distress in adolescents and further exploration of this relationship in needed. Peer relationships during adolescence Close friendships are regarded as the most important peer relationships formed during adolescence (Bukowski, Hoza, & Boivin, 1993; La Greca & Harrison, 2005; Rubin et al., 2004) and the majority of young people report having at least one close friend (Brown & Klute, 2003). Girls generally attribute higher quality to their relationships with friends than boys, reporting higher levels of support (Furman & Buhrmester, 1992; Helsen et al., 2000; Jenkins et al., 2002), closeness (Johnson, 2004) and disclosure (McNelles & Connolly, 1999; Pagano & Hirsch, 2007) in these relationships. Some studies suggest that qualities in close friendships in adolescence vary with age. For example, levels of support from peers have been found to initially increase in early adolescence before declining in mid to late adolescence (Furman & Buhrmester, 1992; Helsen et al., 2000), which may reflect the increased amount of support older adolescents receive from romantic partners (Furman & Buhrmester, 1992; Markiewicz, Lawford, Doyle, & Haggart, 2006). Furman and Buhrmester (1992) found that conflict with close friends is less frequent in older adolescents than younger adolescents. This is one of the few studies looking at age differences in peer conflict during adolescence. Interestingly, La Greca and Harrison (2005) found no age differences in overall levels of positive or negative friendship qualities during adolescence which highlights the importance of looking at individual relationship components when examining friendship quality across adolescence. Taken together, there is evidence to suggest that age and gender difference in peer friendship qualities exist during adolescence. However there is a need to identify the relative influence of peer positive and negative friendship qualities during adolescent, and whether age and gender differences in these qualities exist. Peer relationships and mental health While there is a body of research suggesting the importance of good quality peer relationships for psychological well-being in young people (Brown & Klute, 2003; La Greca & Harrison, 2005; La Greca & Lopez, 1998; Steinhausen & Metzke, 2001), studies examining how specific relationship qualities are linked to mental health outcomes are lacking. To date only a small number of studies have examined this, such as Buhrmester (1990) who found higher levels of intimacy in peer relationships were linked to better psychosocial outcomes and La Greca and Lopez (1998) who found that lower levels of perceived intimacy, support and companionship in close friend relationships were linked to higher levels of social anxiety. However, La Greca and Harrison (2005) found that while the presence of positive qualities in best friend relationships protected against social anxiety, they did not protect against depressive symptoms. They postulate that positive qualities such as support and disclosure in these relationships may allow adolescents to continually discuss problems and focus on negative feelings thus maintaining depressive symptoms. They found that higher levels of negative qualities significantly predicted both social anxiety and depression, suggesting the presence of negative qualities in peer relationships may be more salient in predicting mental health outcomes than the presence of positive qualities. Further research examining specific positive and negative qualities in close peer relationships and their links to emotional distress would be useful to help expand on these findings. Romantic relationships during adolescence Adolescence is typically a time when young people begin to engage in romantic relationships and likelihood of having a romantic partner during this period increases with age (Shulman & Scharf, 2000; Zimmer-Gembeck, 1999). These relationships may play an integral role in the lives of adolescents and are thought to have an influence on many aspects of adolescent development such as family relationships, peer relationships, identity development, academic performance and the development of sexuality (Furman & Shaffer, 2003). Girls tend to report higher levels of positive qualities such as intimacy (Connolly & McIssac, 2011) and satisfaction (Haugen, Welsh, & McNulty, 2008) in their romantic relationships than boys. Research concerning gender differences in perceived conflict remains inconclusive. Some studies suggest that boys perceive higher levels of conflict in romantic relationships (Haugen et al., 2008), however, Pagano and Hirsch (2007) found that girls reported higher levels of hurtful conflict, while Furman and Buhrmester (1992) found no gender differences in conflict in romantic relationships. Older adolescents generally perceive their romantic relationships as more supportive (Furman & Buhrmester, 1992), however there is also an increase in romantic conflict with age (Vujeva & Furman, 2011), perhaps due to increased involvement in romantic relationships and increased time spent with romantic partners that occurs as adolescents get older (Zimmer-Gembeck, 1999). These findings suggest it is important to consider specific qualities in romantic relationships during adolescence and how they may vary with age. Romantic relationships and mental health While it is evident that romantic relationships are important in adolescent development, it is only over the past decade that researchers have begun to investigate the link between romantic relationships and mental health in young people. A number of studies have reported that the presence of a romantic partner is associated with higher levels of depression in young people, particularly in girls (Davila, Steinberg, Kachadourian, Cobb, & Fincham, 2004; Joyner & Udry, 2000). However, a key flaw in these findings is that they generalise as to the effects of the presence of a romantic relationship in adolescence without examining the quality of that relationship. Qualities in romantic relationships are likely to vary from person to person and the psychological impact of a romantic relationship in adolescence is likely to depend on the quality of that relationship. For example, positive qualities in romantic relationships have been linked to increased social competence in young people (Zimmer-Gembeck, Siebenbruner & Collins, 2001), while high levels of negative qualities in these relationships have been linked to depressive symptoms (La Greca & Harrison, 2005). However, there have been significant gaps in research to date on romantic relationships in adolescence. Firstly, the majority of studies examining romantic relationships have been conducted almost exclusively with North American samples of adolescents, thus knowledge of cultural variations in romantic relationships during adolescence is limited. Furthermore, there has been a distinct lack of research which examines the links between specific qualities in romantic relationships and mental health in adolescents. Given the importance of these relationships for adolescent development there is a need for research to establish links between qualities in these relationships and mental health outcomes in young people. The Irish school system The school environment has been identified as an important social context for adolescent development (Eccles & Roeser, 2011; Roeser, Eccles, & Sameroff, 2000). In the Irish school system, there are differing social experiences associated with each school year and the ages of students within these year groups can vary substantially. In Ireland, second level education consists of six school years, where first, second and third year (ages 12–16) are comprised within the Junior Cycle and fourth, fifth and sixth year (ages 15–18) are comprised within the Senior Cycle. Two major state examinations are taken during this period; one at the end of the Junior Cycle in third year and one at the end of the Senior Cycle in sixth year. As the experiences of third year and sixth year students are dominated by preparations for these exams, it is likely that students in these year groups may experience increased stress. Fifth year is also likely to be a time of stress as this is when students are expected to make important decisions about their future academic and career paths. In contrast, fourth year is seen as a year of transition in which there is an emphasis on promoting personal, social and vocational development (Jeffers, 2011). Unlike other years in school, academia is not the main focus and students are not usually required to take exams. The age range within these year groups may vary substantially. For example, the age of students in fifth year can range from 15 years to 18 years depending on whether or not the student completed fourth year, which is optional in some schools (Department of Education and Science, 2004). Thus school year group may be considered a more homogenous social grouping that biological age to examine differences in interpersonal relationships across adolescence. The present study The aim of the present study was to examine gender and school year differences in qualities of young people's relationships with parents, best friends and romantic partners and to determine whether these qualities were linked to psychological distress. Previous research in this area had generally focused on overall relationship quality or on one or two specific qualities in parental, peer or romantic relationships. This study expanded on previous research by comprehensively examining a range of specific positive and negative qualities across multiple interpersonal relationships in line with Furman and Buhrmester (1992) work. This study further expanded on previous research by determining the relative importance of these positive and negative qualities in predicting emotional distress in young people. Based on previous literature, three hypotheses were formulated. Firstly, it was hypothesised that girls would report more positive relationships with mothers and best friends whereas boys would report more positive relationships with fathers and romantic partners. The second hypotheses was that adolescents at the later stages of second-level education would report more negative relationships with parents and more positive relationships with peers and romantic partners that those in the early years of second-level education, in line with trends seen in research focusing on age. Finally, it was hypothesised that higher levels of positive qualities and lower levels of negative qualities would be associated with lower levels of psychological distress in young people.