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J Fam Psychol. 2009 Apr;23(2):146-55. doi: 10.1037/a0015075.

Value transmissions between fathers, mothers, and adolescent and emerging adult children: the role of the family climate.

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  • 1Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Using structural equation modeling, this study investigates father-child, mother-child, and father-mother transmissions on "work-as-duty" and "hedonism" across a 5-year period when children traverse late adolescence and emerging adulthood (N = 402 families). We found bidirectional father-child and child-to-mother transmissions on work-as-duty and child-to-father and bidirectional father-mother transmissions on hedonism. In addition, we examined whether family adaptability and cohesion influence these value transmissions. Father-to-child transmission on work-as-duty occurred regardless of family system levels, whereas child-to-parent transmissions on work-as-duty occurred only within more structured families. Furthermore, a more connected family climate tended to facilitate inter- and intragenerational value transmissions, but multiple-group analyses did not reveal strong evidence. All in all, this study showed that value socialization in the family is not a one-way-traffic process with parents solely influencing their children. Late adolescents and emerging adults also serve to socialize their parents and parents socialize each other.

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