Parent-Adolescent Collaboration: An Interpersonal Model for Understanding Optimal Interactions

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Abstract

Current parent-adolescent behavioral interaction research highlights the importance of three elements of behavior in defining adaptive interactions: autonomy, control, and warmth vs. hostility. However, this research has largely addressed the developmental needs and psychosocial outcomes of adolescents, as opposed to parents, with a focus on how parent and adolescent behaviors influence adolescent adaptation. This paper utilizes both adolescent and mid-life developmental research, as well as parent-adolescent interaction research, to introduce a model for conceptualizing parent-adolescent interactions as a transactional process in which both parental and adolescent development are considered. Further, ideas are presented describing how adaptive parent-adolescent interactions may change across adolescence. The concept of collaboration is proposed as a conceptual tool for assessing one form of adaptive parent-adolescent interactions. The structural analysis of social behavior (SASB) is presented as a model for studying the complex reciprocal processes that occur in parent-adolescent interpersonal processes.

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