Parental Behavior and the Quality of Adolescent Friendships: A Social-Contextual Perspective

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Abstract

On the basis of an evolving social-contextual perspective, the authors predicted and found that socioeconomic advantage in terms of income and parental education promotes supportive and inhibits hostile parental behaviors toward an adolescent child (N= 221). These parental behaviors predicted similar actions by the child toward a close friend 4 years later. In turn adolescent supportiveness promoted close friendship ties, whereas hostility diminished the quality of friendships. The results support the notion that, to a significant degree, the quality of family interactions: (a) arises from the social context surrounding the family, (b) is transmitted across generations, and (c) has a demonstrable impact on the quality of adolescents' social ties outside the family.

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