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Child Dev. 2013 Mar-Apr;84(2):471-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01858.x. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Continuity and discontinuity in perceptions of family relationships from adolescence to young adulthood.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.


The present 8-year longitudinal study examined how multiple aspects of family relationships change across the transition from adolescence (Mage  = 15 years) to young adulthood (Mage  = 22 years) among 821 individuals. Results showed that there was more discontinuity than continuity in family relationships across this transition. Whereas a normative decline was evident in all measured aspects of family relationships during adolescence, this decline persisted for only a few dimensions of family relationships during young adulthood. Other aspects of family relationships stabilized or rebounded. There was little variation in these trajectories as a function of ethnicity or gender, suggesting that these changes in family relationships are generally normative. Results suggest that the transition to adulthood is a period of significant transformation in family relationships.

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