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Dev Psychol. 2001 Nov;37(6):775-90.

Parent-adolescent reciprocity in negative affect and its relation to early adult social development.

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  • 1Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, Iowa State University, Ames 50010-8296, USA. katarina@iastate.edu


The purposes of this 9-year, prospective longitudinal study were (a) to investigate hypothesized reciprocal growth in negative emotions between parents and adolescents and (b) to examine the influence of this reciprocal process on the development of social relationships during early adulthood. The results showed that both parents' and adolescents' initial levels of negative emotion toward each other predicted the rate of growth and rate of change in growth of expressed negative affect. In addition, the analyses indicated that an adolescent's enmeshment in reciprocal negativity in the family of origin carried over into early adult social relationships. The findings demonstrate the reciprocal nature of negative affect in interactions between parents and adolescents and suggest that family experience with this interactional style may have an adverse influence on the development of early adult social relationships.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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