Adolescence

Adolescence

The Transitional Years
1983, Pages 206-247
Adolescence

7 - SOCIAL INTERACTION IN ADOLESCENCE

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This chapter discusses social interaction in adolescence. The three major aspects of social interaction in adolescence are: (1) one looks at adolescents' relationships to their parents; (2) one examines the influence of the adolescent's peer group on attitudes, values, and behavior; and (3) one discusses interaction with members of the opposite sex—the phenomenon of dating. Social interaction is a continuous process throughout the life cycle. The emphasis of the social world of the infant is a dependency relationship to one primary caretaker. During childhood, the social emphasis is on a strong attachment bond to parents as well as on nonfamily interaction with groups of peers during the school years. During adolescence, the balance of power between parents and peers in social influence appears to even out. This developmental shift is followed, later in adolescence, by an emphasis on heterosexual interaction. Reciprocal influence between adolescents and parents can be seen in the mode of discipline within a home, established in large part by parents, which influences the behavior of the adolescent. The adolescent's behavior elicits parental discipline. As a consequence, the nature of the relationship between the adolescent and parent is affected.

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