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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 9 2001). Although adolescent research has been predominantly focused on the adolescent, some research , in fact, has considered the alternate perspective – parental influences. Attachment and Adolescence A premise of attachment theory that is particularly relevant to parent-adolescent ties and supports the examining of family and/or parental influences during adolescence as sources of conflict is that there are differences in the way individuals organize attachment behaviors. This is based on the notion of internal working models or operable models of self and attachment partner, based on their joint relationship. These internal working models serve to regulate, interpret, and predict both the attachment figure’s and the self’s attachment-related behavior, thoughts, and feelings. If appropriately revised in line with developmental and environmental changes, internal working models enable reflection and communication about past and future attachment situations and relationships (Cassidy & Shaver, 1999). When discussing individual differences in adolescent attachment, one must bear in mind that such attachments exist at different levels concurrently. An adolescent, when thinking about attachment, is not only concerned about attachment to parents or parental figures, but also attachment to peers and sexual partners. The nature and characteristics of adolescent attachment with peers and sexual pair bonds falls outside the scope of the paper. From an attachment perspective, a fundamental change from infancy to adulthood is the emergence of a single overarching attachment organization, which predicts future behavior with peers, marital partners, and offspring (Steele, Steele, & Fonagy, 1996). Although the focus of attention, from the adolescent’s perspective, is more on peers, it cannot be said that the adolescent loses the ability to distinguish between the qualities and distinct differences in attachment with mother, father, and peers. In fact, it can be argued that it is in this period that

Authors: Allen, Donna. and Rangarajan, Sripriya.
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Attachment and Family Influence on Adolescence 9
2001). Although adolescent research has been predominantly focused on the adolescent, some
research , in fact, has considered the alternate perspective – parental influences.
Attachment and Adolescence
A premise of attachment theory that is particularly relevant to parent-adolescent ties and
supports the examining of family and/or parental influences during adolescence as sources of
conflict is that there are differences in the way individuals organize attachment behaviors. This is
based on the notion of internal working models or operable models of self and attachment
partner, based on their joint relationship. These internal working models serve to regulate,
interpret, and predict both the attachment figure’s and the self’s attachment-related behavior,
thoughts, and feelings. If appropriately revised in line with developmental and environmental
changes, internal working models enable reflection and communication about past and future
attachment situations and relationships (Cassidy & Shaver, 1999). When discussing individual
differences in adolescent attachment, one must bear in mind that such attachments exist at
different levels concurrently. An adolescent, when thinking about attachment, is not only
concerned about attachment to parents or parental figures, but also attachment to peers and
sexual partners. The nature and characteristics of adolescent attachment with peers and sexual
pair bonds falls outside the scope of the paper.
From an attachment perspective, a fundamental change from infancy to adulthood is the
emergence of a single overarching attachment organization, which predicts future behavior with
peers, marital partners, and offspring (Steele, Steele, & Fonagy, 1996). Although the focus of
attention, from the adolescent’s perspective, is more on peers, it cannot be said that the
adolescent loses the ability to distinguish between the qualities and distinct differences in
attachment with mother, father, and peers. In fact, it can be argued that it is in this period that


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