This research considers how observed tactics and patterns in parent-adolescent conflict relate to family orientations toward communication. Fifty families (mother, father, and mid-adolescent child) discussed family changes desired by each person. In high versus low conformity families, parents (fathers especially) pressured more, were more confrontational, and were less conciliatory, whereas children were less analytic and more apt to withdraw in response to parental demand. Fathers were especially conciliatory and analytic in families that combined high conversation orientation and low conformity (i.e., the pluralistic family type). The results confirm expected associations between family communication orientations and observed conflict patterns, suggesting that basic orientations to communication affect how families adapt to the communicative challenges of adolescence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was assisted by a grant from the University of Montana to Alan Sillars.