During adolescence, the need for social connection increases. Yet, fostering emotional closeness in relationships becomes more complex, as the need for autonomy also increases and social environments must adapt to become conducive to these seemingly competing needs. This complexity necessitates more research on what happens to close relationships during adolescence, so parents, scholars, and practitioners are better equipped to help individuals navigate the unique social atmosphere of adolescence. The current study draws upon multi-level modeling techniques to estimate growth models of Australian adolescents' closeness to parents and closeness to friends from ages 12-17 and examine predictors of these trajectories. Findings reveal that on average, adolescents' levels of closeness to parents exhibit a moderate decrease while remaining relatively high, and boys appear to have a closer relationship with their parents than girls throughout the period examined. Levels of closeness to friends similarly decline while remaining relatively high, with girls exhibiting both greater levels of closeness and a faster decrease than boys throughout the timeframe examined. These results are discussed in light of the current literature and recommendations for future studies are provided.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jorgensen-Wells, McKell A., "Best Friends Forever and Family Ties: Continuity and Change in Closeness with Parents and Friends Among Australian Adolescents" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9294.
adolescence, Australia, closeness, social relationships, self-determination theory, stage-environment fit