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Intergenerational Transmission and the Formation of Cultural Orientations in Adolescence and Young Adulthood



In this article we wanted to shed light on the intergenerational transmission and the formation of cultural orientations in adolescence. The intergenerational transmission was analyzed in different age groups in a longitudinal design (orientations of parents and their adolescent children were measured twice, with a time lapse of 3 years). Results clearly revealed that late adolescence is the “formative phase” for the establishment of cultural orientations and suggested that psychological processes such as internalization are guiding this formation. This internalization was found for all investigated orientations. In addition, as adolescents grew older, their susceptibility to parental orientations diminished, but, in contrast, parents did not become more susceptible to their children's orientations. No age effects in sociocultural influences were found. It was concluded that the investigated sociocultural influences should be seen as providing a structural context within which the formation of orientations in adolescence takes place.