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Effects of Parental Attachment Style and Parental Expectations on Family Conflict in Families with Adolescents
Unformatted Document Text:  Attachment and Family Influence on Adolescence 24 Limitations of the Study Several limitations were encountered in conducting this study, which forced this into a pilot study rather than a full-length study, as originally planned. These included the difficulty of obtaining dyadic subjects (small N), difficulty in obtaining a distribution of attachment styles, the bias of self-report instruments, small number of items in scale used for self-report of attachment, and retrospective reporting. Future work should ideally include a much larger N with the ability to analyze using dyad as the unit of analysis rather than individuals. A longitudinal study would eliminate the need for retrospective reports and allow researchers to measure actual future conflict levels after obtaining expectation scores. Some measures should be taken to address concerns about the halo effects or social desirability. Future Research Future research should veer from the traditional adolescent perspective, and at times, the systems perspective, and study adolescence from the parental perspective. Attachment styles of parents, degree of mutual influences, synchronous versus asynchronous family dynamics, shifts in parental power and control, social expectations, and perceived coping styles of parents during adolescent individuation must be studied to obtain a comprehensive idea of what transpires between the adolescent and the parents during, what is essentially, an intense period of transition for the entire family. Specifically, there is a need to define the “normal” interactions of families with adolescents. This should include identifying the types of conflict appropriate and possibly necessary for the family to redefine and renegotiate roles. In addition, the multitude of parental factors that could influence the family’s ability to maneuver through the stages of adolescent development needs further attention. These factors include, but are not limited to, adult physiological changes during mid-life (the age of many parents of adolescents), outside life

Authors: Allen, Donna. and Rangarajan, Sripriya.
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Attachment and Family Influence on Adolescence 24
Limitations of the Study
Several limitations were encountered in conducting this study, which forced this into a
pilot study rather than a full-length study, as originally planned. These included the difficulty of
obtaining dyadic subjects (small N), difficulty in obtaining a distribution of attachment styles, the
bias of self-report instruments, small number of items in scale used for self-report of attachment,
and retrospective reporting. Future work should ideally include a much larger N with the ability
to analyze using dyad as the unit of analysis rather than individuals. A longitudinal study would
eliminate the need for retrospective reports and allow researchers to measure actual future
conflict levels after obtaining expectation scores. Some measures should be taken to address
concerns about the halo effects or social desirability.
Future Research
Future research should veer from the traditional adolescent perspective, and at times, the
systems perspective, and study adolescence from the parental perspective. Attachment styles of
parents, degree of mutual influences, synchronous versus asynchronous family dynamics, shifts
in parental power and control, social expectations, and perceived coping styles of parents during
adolescent individuation must be studied to obtain a comprehensive idea of what transpires
between the adolescent and the parents during, what is essentially, an intense period of transition
for the entire family. Specifically, there is a need to define the “normal” interactions of families
with adolescents. This should include identifying the types of conflict appropriate and possibly
necessary for the family to redefine and renegotiate roles. In addition, the multitude of parental
factors that could influence the family’s ability to maneuver through the stages of adolescent
development needs further attention. These factors include, but are not limited to, adult
physiological changes during mid-life (the age of many parents of adolescents), outside life


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