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Interdependence in the parent and adolescent child relationship
On the basis of Thibaut and Kelley's interdependence theory, this study attempted to clarify the structure of parent-child relationship, one of the most vital personal relationships. We created three hypothetical decision-making situations (vignettes) that would occur for the majority of relationships between parents and their adolescent children. Each situation can be conceptually described in terms of 2×2 matrix format, in which both a parent and a child have two behavioral alternatives to choose from. The subjects were first graders at junior- and senior-high school and their parents. Both the parent and the child expressed their own preferences for each of the possible four combinations of the behavioral alternatives as to the three vignettes. Control scores were calculated for reflexive control (RC), fate control (FC), and behavior control (BC). Results indicated that; (1) Interdependence patterns were quite stable across the three situations, suggesting that parent and child are interdependent more at the dispositional than the given matrix level; (2) The parents showed consistent interdependence patterns with almost no RC, but a high degree of BC. High school children, however, indicated much higher degrees of RC and FC compared with Junior High school children. These results suggest that children become more self-interested and try to exert their control as they get older, while the parents will basically be happy as long as it corresponds with what the children want to do.
広島大学総合科学部紀要. IV, 理系編