Marital Quality and Parent-Adolescent Relationships: Components of Relationship Strengths in Married Couple Families

01/30/2009

The purpose of this research brief is to explain the relationship context of adolescents who live in married couple families. Specifically, the marital quality of the adolescents' biological parents (and step-parents) is assessed by examining how supportive and conflict behaviors combine within the couple relationship. How support and conflict operate in parent-adolescent relationships is also examined. These separate measures of couple and parent-adolescent relationships are then combined to form new categories that describe the relationship context within which adolescents transition into young adulthood. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort, a nationally representative survey of adolescents, was used to conduct a latent class analysis and determine the class structures for adolescent perceptions of parent marital quality and for adolescent perceptions of their relationship with their parents. These class structures were then combined and used as independent variables in the study analysis. [8 PDF pages]

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