Other Free Encyclopedias » Social Issues Reference » Child Development Reference - Vol 7 » Social Development - Infancy And Preschool: An Emphasis On Biology And Parenting, Childhood And Early Adolescence: An Emphasis On Peers

Social Development - Adolescence And Adulthood: Completing The Cycle

romantic relationships parents children

Whereas opposite-sex interactions are infrequent in childhood, they increase during adolescence. Much of this increase is due to the emergence of romantic attraction, which is a product of both biology (i.e., pubertal maturation) and societal standards. Adolescent dating can be both a positive and negative socializing influence—it can be a source of intimacy, expanded social competency, and heightened self-esteem and peer status, but it can also be a source of jealousy, abuse, and damage to self-esteem. Adolescent romantic relationships are based upon many of the same principles as children's friendships (such as mutual liking, positive behavior, and proximity seeking), but physical attractiveness also becomes important in the selection of romantic partners. Although the rule that opposites attract may sometimes apply, adolescent romantic relationships (like childhood friendships) are typically characterized by similarity in race, academic achievement, activities, attitudes, and physical attractiveness.

In adolescence there is also an increasing desire for autonomy—of separating from parents and becoming an independent adult. This desire may lead to heightened family conflict (e.g., arguments about time spent with peers) and defiant behaviors (e.g., affiliation with antisocial peers and engagement in delinquent activities). These manifestations of autonomy striving have resulted in the frequent use of the term "adolescent storm" in referring to this age. The intensity of this storm, however, is heavily influenced by parenting styles (e.g., authoritative parenting is associated with less problematic autonomy development), family characteristics (e.g., single-parent and divorced families may impede autonomy or intensify conflict), peer relations (e.g., dating and involvement with peers are frequent sources of conflict), cultural values (e.g., the importance placed on autonomy and deference to parents affect the occurrence and expression of conflict), and generational differences (e.g., differences between parents and children in beliefs about appropriate behavior may be a frequent source of conflict). Healthy individuation involves a gradual shifting of balance between autonomy and connectedness with parents—of gaining independence while maintaining quality relationships with parents.

The importance of romantic relationships and individuation during adolescence is congruent with events common in adulthood—marriage and beginning one's own family. The characteristics of these relationships are based upon previous social learning. Adults often interact within their romantic relationships in a manner similar to how their parents interacted with each other, because as children they observed these interactions. Direct experiences with parents and peers also affect these relationships. For example, securely attached children are more likely to be securely attached with their spouses in adulthood, and childhood friendships based on intimacy and trust are likely to foster these types of relationships with later romantic partners. These past experiences also influence parenting behavior. Thus, the familial environment in which a child is raised is to some extent replicated in the environment these adults provide for their children, though relations with peers and romantic partners modify this continuity.

Social Development - Limitations, Controversies, And Future Directions [next] [back] Social Development - Childhood And Early Adolescence: An Emphasis On Peers

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

neesds more adulthooooooddd!!! no help whatsoever :/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

parents,teachrs,u are as a guide to some many children,na nangalaingan ng tamang responsibilidad

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

i agree, does need more on adulthood :)

Vote down Vote up

almost 3 years ago

it dont talk much about adulthood booooooooooooooooooooooring

Vote down Vote up

over 3 years ago

needs more on adulthood !

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

In this article I agree do agree with the point that are given. I believe that you children now a days rare rushed into the adolescence relationships of today's society. These influences are based on the people who are around them in their everyday life especially their parents. Often at time children and young teenagers try to impress their peers so they can have more friends.

For example, i have these two friends who have been friends sine they were ten years old. Both of their parents have been friends before they were even born. As they were growing up they both started to feel this attraction for each other. They both were unsure how to handle the situation because they were both very young. They seen their parents in love and happy, so they both thought they can be the same way just like their parents. As they were growing up and both of them entering two different High School, the guy didn't want to lose the love of his life since they were younger he asked her to mary him, but she was speechless because she knew she was to young to be married. Her father once told her not until she was 25 years old to think about that, but she didn't care anyways. They both found a way to vegas and lied about their age and had got married. A year later they both told their parents and they weren't able to see eachother anymore. It broke their bond and love they had. They kept that promise to each other that no one will replace them. As years gone by they both were wondering will they ever see each other again since their parents didn't allow them to see each other anymore. Then senior year of high school the boy was browsing around on myspace and found her picture and messaged her. They both switch contact number and now been seeking around behind their parents back. After graduation they moved into faking they were going to college and moving out with they friends. The next thing you know they are happily married after alll the trouble they went through. They both kept their promise and stuck with it.

Vote down Vote up

about 7 years ago

i used this site to find out about development in adulthood, it needs more about adulthood!

Vote down Vote up

about 3 years ago

You all smell ... i can smell you from here :-P

no-joke !!!!

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

i agree with this article because i have seen it first hand. there have been many people that i know who have had children and raise them how they themselves were raised. the "adolescent storm" is i think true with evry adolescent. all of us remember the times when briefly our friends were the most important thing in our lives. i think this is because many of us were still trying to find ourselves or where we fit in. this could also be because an adolescent has not gone through a life changing experience that has made them realize how important family really is. to summarize i agree with this article that young relationships are a little too dangerous because they do lead to too many emotions too soon. and even though i dont like to admit it i do think that when we grow up we raise our children the same way we were raised.

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

I have these two friends who met when they were ten years old and have been friends ever since. These two always had an attraction for one another since they became friends. One day they both came forward and told each other how they both felt for one another. As years gone by they both begain to think maybe they both can have something special to share. Then they open their mind a little more and thought to themselves, what if it doesn't work out later? They didn't want to ruin their good friendship they had going and most of all their relationship with another's family. Also another thing that is keeping them from being about is the distance. They couldn't stand being that far from each other because when they were together they always acted like a happy couple even though they didn't have the title " BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND".

Vote down Vote up

about 7 years ago

A good detailed piece of information that is useful and helpful.

Vote down Vote up

about 2 years ago

bogo

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Parents,Teachers,u are a model to guide each children,and teach them f what a good or bad,and give them a good opportunity.......the adulthood is a booooowing topic