THE AGE ONSET OF PERSONAL AUTHORITY IN THE FAMILY SYSTEM

Authors

  • David Lawson,

    1. Stephen F. Austin State University
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    • a

      David Lawson, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Counseling, Department of Counseling and Special Education, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX 75962.

  • Harper Gaushell,

    1. Northeast Louisiana University
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    • b

      Harper Gaushell, EdD, is an Associate Professor of Counseling, Department of Educational Leadership and Counselling, Northeast Louisiana University, Moroe, LA 71209.

  • Ralph Karst

    1. Notheast Louidisan University
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    • c

      Ralph Karst, PhD, is a Professor and Director of the Center for Educatinal Research, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe, LA 71209.


Abstract

The present research explored Williamson's position that relational patterns indicative of Personal Authority in the Family System (PAFS) occur during the fourth and early fifth decades of life. Participants were 232 university student volunteers. Individuals age 30 and above reported less triangulation with their nuclear families and less intimidation and less intimacy with their parents than the under age 30 group. These results provide some support for the view that differentiation is more clearly discernible in the fourth and fifth decades of life than in earlier years. Canonical correlations revealed that as age increases, the amount of variance accounted for by nuclear family triangulation, intergenerational intimidation, and integenerational intimacy increases, supporting Williamson's position that age is a significant factor in achieving several relational patterns indicative of PAFS.

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