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J Child Adolesc Subst Abuse. 2006 Jan 1;15(2):53-86.

Autonomy and Relatedness in Inner-City Families of Substance Abusing Adolescents.

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National Health Promotions Associate, Inc., White Plains, NY.


This study examined parent-adolescent autonomous-relatedness functioning in inner-city, ethnic minority families of adolescents exhibiting drug abuse and related problem behaviors. Seventy-four parent-adolescent dyads completed a structured interaction task prior to the start of treatment that was coded using an established autonomous-relatedness measure. Adolescent drug use, externalizing, and internalizing behaviors were assessed. Parents and adolescents completed assessment instruments measuring parenting style and family conflict. Confirmatory factor analysis found significant differences in the underlying dimensions of parent and adolescent autonomous-relatedness in this sample versus previous samples. It was also found that autonomous-relatedness was associated with worse adolescent symptomatology and family impairment. Results based on both self-report and observational measures contribute to the understanding of key family constructs in this population and provide insight for both researchers and the treatment community.

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