Parenting younger and older adolescents from a maternal perspective

Victoria Sykes Loudon, Marquette University


The present study investigated mothers of adolescents in four areas: communication, conflict, parental satisfaction, and parental stress. The study was done in a rural midwestern area. A sample of 160 mothers, 40 mothers of younger male adolescents, 40 mothers of younger female adolescents (ages 11-14 for the younger groups), 40 mothers of older male adolescents, and 40 mothers of older female adolescents (ages 15-18 for the older groups) was used for this study. All mothers completed a demographic form and four instruments: the Parent/Adolescent Communication Scale, the Issues Checklist, the Kansas Parental Satisfaction Scale, and the Parental Stress Scale. Separate analyses of variance (ANOVA) were computed for each dependent measure. Only one of the four dependent measures, the Issues Checklist which measures the number of conflicts that occurred between mothers and their adolescents, reached significance $\lbrack F(1,156)=13.16,\ p<.001\rbrack$ for the four groups of mothers. Conflict was higher among mothers of younger adolescents than mothers of older adolescents. A secondary analysis was done on the issue of conflict by computing a chi-square on each of the 44 issues identified on the Issues Checklist. The chi-square analyses revealed that 10 of the 44 issued indicated a significant difference between groups. Additionally, of the issues with a significant difference between groups, six of the issues were endorsed by mothers of younger adolescents and all of these six issues were also endorsed by mothers of younger adolescent males. An analysis of the responses on the demographic form indicated that approximately 50% of the mothers were in a family with at least one college educated parent and that most parents had a good level of social support. This could have positively impacted on their level of stress. Implications for future research include looking into factors that serve as stress buffers and studying mothers of pre-adolescents (ages 7 to 10) to assess what changes occur, if any, as children go from pre-adolescence into early adolescence.

Recommended Citation

Loudon, Victoria Sykes, "Parenting younger and older adolescents from a maternal perspective" (1996). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9634271.