Nicole Campione-Barr is now at the Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri–Columbia, and Aaron Metzger is now at the Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Adolescents’ and Parents’ Evaluations of Helping Versus Fulfilling Personal Desires in Family Situations
Article first published online: 5 FEB 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s); Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 1, pages 280–294, January/February 2009
How to Cite
Smetana, J. G., Tasopoulos-Chan, M., Gettman, D. C., Villalobos, M., Campione-Barr, N. and Metzger, A. (2009), Adolescents’ and Parents’ Evaluations of Helping Versus Fulfilling Personal Desires in Family Situations. Child Development, 80: 280–294. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01259.x
We wish to thank the Rush Henrietta School District (and especially Dr. Ken Hilton) and the participating families for their cooperation with this research. We are also grateful to our undergraduate research assistants for their help with family visits and data entry. We thank the Fetzer Institute and the Institute for Unlimited Love for their support of this project.
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 5 FEB 2009
A sample of 118 predominantly European American families with early and middle adolescents (Mages= 12.32 and 15.18 years) and 1 parent evaluated hypothetical conflicts between adolescents’ and parents’ requests for assistance versus the other’s personal desires. Evaluations differed by level of need, but in low-need situations, adolescents viewed teens as more obligated to help parents than did parents, whereas parents rated it as more permissible for teens to satisfy personal desires than did teenagers. Justifications for helping focused on concern for others, role responsibilities, and among parents, psychological reasons. Middle adolescents reasoned about role responsibilities more and viewed satisfying personal desires as less selfish than did early adolescents, but satisfying personal desires was seen as more selfish by parents of middle than early adolescents. Implications for adolescent–parent relationships are discussed.