Young, middle, and late adolescents' comparisons of the functional importance of five significant relationships

Journal of Youth and Adolescence
J D Lempers, D S Clark-Lempers

Abstract

The present study investigated how young (11-13-year-old), middle (14-16-year-old), and late (17-19-year-old) adolescents compared the relative functional importance of their relationships with their mother, their father, their most important sibling, their best same-sex friend, and their most important teacher. Mothers and fathers were perceived as highly important sources of affection, instrumental aid, and reliable alliance by all adolescents; however, the parent-adolescent child relationship was also ranked high on the conflict dimension. Best same-sex friends were ranked highest in all three adolescent groups for intimacy and companionship. Siblings, too, were perceived as important sources of intimacy and companionship; they were also ranked high for the nurturance and conflict dimensions. Relationships with teachers received very low ratings in general.

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