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Adolescence. 2004 Spring;39(153):83-100.

Transmission of values from adolescents to their parents: the role of value content and authoritative parenting.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Psychology, Friedrich Schiller University, Am Steiger 3, Haus 1, D-07743 Jena, Germany.


The intergenerational transmission of values is a bidirectional process. To date, however, adolescents' influence on parental values has rarely been investigated. In the present study, we analyzed the transmission of values from adolescents (aged 11 to 17 years) to their mothers and fathers across a one-year interval in 431 mother-child dyads and 346 father-child dyads. Transmission of values from adolescents to parents was observed regarding topics that are salient in adolescence (the usefulness of new technology, beliefs concerning the traditional way of life, the importance of religion) but not regarding topics that become salient later. In addition, the transmission of adolescents' values to their parents was mainly observed in families with above-average levels of authoritative parenting (i.e., parents are receptive and supportive). However, adolescents' religious values were also transmitted to their parents in families with below-average levels of authoritative parenting. Transmission of values from parents to adolescents was also investigated.

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