Parent–Child Communication During Adolescence

Authored by: Susan Branje , Brett Laursen , W. Andrew Collins

The Routledge Handbook of Family Communication

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415881982
eBook ISBN: 9780203848166
Adobe ISBN: 9781136946370


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Conventional wisdom regards parent–adolescent communication as an oxymoron. As is often the case with adolescence, however, conventional wisdom can be misleading. Although communication during the adolescent years certainly is a challenge for parents and children, this challenge stems primarily from the changing nature of the relationship, not from an inherent inability of adolescents and parents to engage in meaningful conversation (for recent reviews, see Laursen & Collins, 2009; Smetana, Campione-Barr, & Metzger, 2006). As families navigate the transition from childhood into adulthood, the frequency and content of their interactions change. Increasing adolescent autonomy inevitably alters patterns of self-disclosure, shared experiences, and perceptions of privacy and responsibilities. Yet even in the face of these significant alterations, familial emotional bonds are noteworthy for their resilience and continuity.

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