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Psychologist
Reference:

Psychological Features of the Relationship of Adults to their Parents

Trubitsyna Lyudmila Valentinovna

ORCID: 0000-0003-0479-1148

PhD in Psychology

Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy, Academy of Social Management of the Moscow Region (ASOU)

129344, Russia, Moscow, Yeniseiskaya str., 3, room 3, office 24

trubitsyna.lyudmila2015@yandex.ru
Zhuravleva Yuliya Vladimirovna

Leading Specialist of the Department of Regional Taxation and Summary Analytics of the Department of Taxation in The PJSC LUKOIL

101000, Russia, Moscow, Sretenskiya Boulevard, 11

yzhuravleva@yandex.ru

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8701.2022.6.39542

EDN:

RUBKGY

Received:

23-12-2022


Published:

30-12-2022


Abstract: The article deals with the problem of the relationship of adult children to their parents. The study consisted of two parts. The purpose of the first part was to obtain the most complete picture of the possible aspects of the relationship of adult children to their parents without taking into account the prevailing options. The research method was a series of slightly structured interviews. With the help of a qualitative analysis of the conducted slightly structured interviews, generalized categories describing different aspects of the relationship of adult children to their parents are identified. Based on the data obtained, a questionnaire was compiled, which was used in the second part of the study. The questionnaire was filled out by 146 respondents. The results were analyzed using factor analysis. There are 8 factors that characterize the subjective perceptions of adult children about their attitude to their parents: the relationship of love and a sense of comfort; caring with problems of compliance with parental expectations; insults and claims; criticism; emphasizing the importance of relationships with grandparents; custody is down to parents; emotional dependence with separation problems, as well as the perception of parents as a model and a model. The novelty of this study was the development of a questionnaire using the method of a slightly structured interview, which made it possible to identify a number of significant aspects of these relationships when considering the relationship of adult children to their parents


Keywords:

child-parent relations, adult children, slightly structured interview, intergenerational relations, intergenerational solidarity, intergenerational conflicts, ideas about relationships, qualitative analysis of interviews, subjective representations of relationships, multidimensional relations

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Child-parent relations are the most important cultural and historical phenomenon, the interest in which in psychology is stimulated by the constantly increasing flow of research in foreign and domestic psychology [1-5]. It is these relationships that are considered as the foundation of all other social ties that a person will have to establish [6]. The relationship between parents and children is the strongest among human relationships.

Within the framework of child-parent relations in psychology, the relationship of parents to a child is much more discussed and the child to parents is much less discussed [7].  A special direction of research on child-parent relations in terms of the relationship of children to parents aroused the interest of psychologists mainly in connection with adolescence [8; 9]. Thus, one can note the interest in the problems of respect for parents in adolescence. At the same time, it is shown that the concept of respect differentiates in the representations of a teenager from the concepts of love and authority [10].

Another area of children's relationship with their parents has become particularly significant in recent years. One of the serious problems facing society more and more acutely in many countries of the world is related to the care and care of aging people [11; 12]. Traditionally, the care of the older generation was carried out in the family. However, an increase in life expectancy and an increase in the working age significantly change the picture of relations between generations. Today, when talking about the attitude of adult children to their parents, we can mean both the attitudes of twenty-year-olds [13] to their working, active and by today's standards quite young parents, and the attitude of fifty-sixty-year-olds to their already aged parents. At the same time, the problems between parents and their adult children are further aggravated due to the care of aging parents. The evolution of the family in recent decades has put families in front of serious problems. The traditional family structure is undergoing significant changes, which can lead to a deterioration in the relationship of adult children with their aging parents and reduce their support. Therefore, first of all, the research concerns the attitude of adult children to elderly parents.

The concept of solidarity between generations is actively developing in sociology [14; 15]. A number of studies in different countries have studied the correlation of conflicts, solidarity and ambivalence in the relationship between adult children and their elderly parents [16-18]. Various functions that an intergenerational conflict can carry are considered [19]. Increasingly, there is talk of the need to take measures to strengthen intergenerational relationships in the family.

We were primarily interested in identifying the main aspects that characterize the subjective perceptions of adult children about their relationship to their parents.

The method of the first part of the studyOur study of the peculiarities of the attitude of adult children to their parents consisted of two parts.

The purpose of the first part was to obtain the most complete picture of the possible aspects of the relationship of adult children to their parents without taking into account the prevailing options. Thus, we turned to qualitative methods of obtaining data, namely, the method of a weakly structured interview [20]. A loosely structured interview is conducted in a very free form, without a pre-planned list of questions, which in a hidden form already presupposes some expected information and limits the possibility of obtaining a completely new one. In addition to the basic question or suggestion on the topic of the interview, various clarifying questions are asked, which in general can be formulated as follows: under what conditions, under what circumstances, why, for what, for what, when, what happened as a result, and when differently, and how, and so on. The initial position of the researcher at the same time: "I really don't know how your attitude towards parents is built, and this is very interesting and important for me and for psychological science." The number of respondents in a loosely structured interview is not planned in advance, and interviews continue with new respondents until new answers and new information on the topic appear.

This part of the study involved 9 respondents aged 25 to 65 years with higher education, while some lived together with their parents, others – separately from them.

By conducting this study based on the method of a qualitative weakly structured interview, we were able to discover a whole range of various psychological features of the attitude of adults to their parents, study various aspects of the phenomenon under study and highlight the most significant aspects of such relationships. 

The following is a description and results of an experimental study of psychological characteristics of adults' attitude to their parents conducted with the help of a qualitative weakly structured interview.

Results of weakly structured interviewsBased on the qualitative analysis of the conducted poorly structured interviews, we grouped all the statements into a number of more generalized categories describing different manifestations of the attitude of adult children to their parents.

At the same time, attitudes towards the same aspects can be diametrically opposed. Examples of statements related to this type are given in parentheses:

- love and comfort ("Calm, kind relations", "They are caring, good parents towards me", "Having parents in adulthood means warmth, having that harbor where you feel good and calm");

- anxiety ("I understand that my parents have some health problems. Scary", "Let them live, the longer the better");

- Gratitude ("What I have achieved is due to the fact that my parents have invested their resources in me");

- support from parents ("My parents have always supported me. In all my endeavors");

- helping parents ("Parents at the moment are people I care about more than my child");

- guardianship is down ("For me, it's absurd, for example, when dad wants to make a bathhouse with his own hands. There is an opportunity to hire a person who will make this bath, and it is not necessary nothing to drag and pull");

- cohabitation ("When living together, either you begin to defend your position and cause inconvenience to both them and yourself, or, accordingly, you move and live alone", "I always wanted, I want and I will live with my parents");

- interaction of parents ("I have no right to get into the conflicts of parents, I ask them to sort things out among themselves. I don't want to be involved in all this");

- compliance with parents' expectations / parental prescriptions ("In adulthood, I do not meet the ideal of my mother", "Parents wanted to see me as an independent person, making some decisions, happy");

- conflicts ("There are conflict situations, now there are less, because we don't communicate so much");

- identification and separation ("The model of the family in which I grew up, I transferred to the family that I created", "I don't feel like a member of the parent family");

- dependence / interdependence ("Mom constantly needs to control everyone, including me");

- interest, respect, importance ("The opinion of parents is important to me", ("They as people did not take place in their lives");

- insults ("There was injustice", "They bought you an apartment, and you remember how they didn't buy you ice cream 30 years ago");          

- dislike ("I don't enjoy communicating with my parents", "I'm already rude to her. I can answer her with an obscenity");

- irritation ("The most annoying thing about parents is that they can't do anything themselves", "Sometimes excessive imposition of their position irritates parents");

- grandparents ("I loved no less than my parents, grandparents").

The method of the second part of the studyBased on the results of a qualitative weakly structured interview, a questionnaire "Parent–adult child relationship study" was compiled from 228 statements.

Respondents were asked to rate the degree of agreement with each statement on a 6-point scale from "disagree" to "absolutely agree".

The second part of the study involved 146 subjects of different genders aged 20 to 70 years. All respondents had at least one parent. 70% of respondents had higher education. The professional activity of the subjects was very heterogeneous (students, accountants, economists, lawyers, actors, logisticians, tax inspectors, drivers, military, cashiers, financiers and other specialties). The study was conducted remotely. Data analysis was carried out using the IBM Statistics SPSS program.

Results of the second part of the studyTo check the reliability as consistency of the questionnaire, an analysis was carried out using the ?-Kronbach coefficient.

For the initial initial set of statements of the questionnaire, the value of ?-Kronbach was equal to 0.972, which indicates a very good internal consistency of the questionnaire.

However, on the one hand, 228 statements are clearly superfluous for a questionnaire consisting of one scale, on the other hand, based on a qualitative analysis of poorly structured interviews, we have already assumed the presence of various parameters in the general scale of the attitude of adult children to their parents, which may form separate scales (or factors). Therefore, we decided to subject the results to exploratory factor analysis. Due to the fact that the obtained correlation matrix (the matrix of components) was not positively determined, it was decided to conduct an analysis using the principal component method. The resulting graph "rocky scree" showed that the most adequate may be the allocation of five factors.

Fig. 1. Graph of the "rocky scree" type for the questionnaire

Repeated analysis using the principal component method for five factors with varimax rotation and the exclusion of items with a self-weight of less than 0.4. In addition to excluding items with a small self-weight, we also excluded statements with approximately equal weights in several factors to give the resulting questionnaire a stricter structure.

Thus, we received five factor scales, which, after a meaningful analysis of the statements included in them, were given the following names:

- "Grievances, claims" defining the attitude of adult children's grievances against their parents, dependence and defending themselves from parents, compliance / non-compliance with parents' expectations, their attitudes, conflicts with parents, dislike, irritation; - "Caring, compliance with expectations" defining the attitude of caring and compliance of adult children with parents' expectations, dependence and self-defense from parents, mutual assistance, compliance / non-compliance with parents' expectations, their attitudes;

- "Love, comfort, unconditional love" defining caring attitude, attention, sacrificial behavior based on love, interest and respect, gratitude of adult children towards their parents;

mso-add-space:auto;text-indent:35.45pt;line-height:normal;mso-layout-grid-align: none;text-autospace:none'>- "Grandparents" defining the relationship of adult children with grandparents as very important;

- "Criticism" defining the critical attitude of adult children to their parents, their family life, intra-family relationships, including between parents;

Thus, as a result of factor analysis, we obtained a picture of factors close to the picture obtained as a result of qualitative analysis of poorly structured interviews.

Due to the large number of statements included in these factors, we decided to reduce the size of the scales, while increasing their consistency using the ?-Kronbach criterion. At the same time, it turned out that the fifth scale – "Criticism" – was actually divided into two parts with high consistency, i.e. all the scales that were excluded to increase consistency according to the a-Kronbach criterion formed another internally consistent scale – "Patronage from above", which determines the attitude of superiority on the part of adult children in relation to parents, even if they are willing to help and take care of. This consistency of the statements excluded from the fifth scale prompted us to turn to the previously excluded 44 statements. These are the statements that we excluded either because of the small intrinsic weights that they contributed to the selected factors, or because they were included in several factors at once, thereby blurring the overall picture. In this case, we assumed that due to the large volume of the original questionnaire, it could include statements corresponding to at least two different areas. Therefore, we additionally analyzed the excluded statements.

The analysis of these statements by the method of principal components showed the possibility of identifying two additional factors. Again, after increasing consistency with the help of a-Kronbach, we received two additional scales that reflected two aspects of the relationship – "Emotional dependence" and "Parents as a model".

ConclusionsThus, our research has shown that when considering the relationship of adult children to their parents, a number of significant aspects of this relationship can be identified: the relationship of love and a sense of comfort; caring with problems of compliance with parental expectations; resentment and claims; criticism; emphasizing the importance of relationships with grandparents; guardianship down to parents; emotional dependence with separation problems, as well as the perception of parents as a model and a model.

At the same time, the highlighted factors do not mean different types of relations between children and parents, but different aspects that should be considered in these relations. It should be noted that all respondents, without exception, responded equally to the statements "I love my parents" - "I absolutely agree".

In addition to highlighting important aspects that characterize the attitude of adult children to their parents, the study additionally forced us to make several comments regarding the need to develop a mathematical and statistical apparatus for analyzing psychological data. It seems to us that there is a feature that is not sufficiently taken into account when using factor analysis of psychological questionnaires – this is multicollinearity. Moreover, multicollinearity is not only in the mathematical, but in the psychological sense – the presence of a significant conceptual, semantic connection between different statements. When creating questionnaires, it is inadequate in many cases to assume that the various items of the questionnaire are independent of each other. Multicollinearity, the connection between different items and scales of questionnaires, can be considered not as an exception, but as a feature of psychological questionnaires. Very often, different scales and factors can be connected by different relations of generality, one can be a special case of another, etc., and as a result, this can lead to serious distortions of the resulting conclusions. And here, too, serious mathematical developments are required.

The development of questionnaires using the weakly structured interview method also raises the question of the need for tools that would make it possible to analyze data taking into account the redundancy of the source data, and also allow for the possibility of having several groups of data that are not interconnected in any way.

 

 

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The work "Psychological features of the relationship of adults to their parents" is submitted for review. The subject of the study. The object of the study, as indicated in the title of the article, is the peculiarities of the relationship of adults to their parents. The subject was formulated correctly, and it was fully disclosed in the work. To a greater extent, the author was interested in the issue of identifying the main aspects characterizing the subjective perceptions of adult children about their relationship to their parents. Research methodology. The methodology of the study is traceable, several cross-sections of studies have been conducted. The purpose of the first part was the need to obtain the most complete picture of possible aspects of adult children's relationship to their parents, without taking into account the prevailing options. The author drew attention to qualitative methods of obtaining data, namely, the method of a weakly structured interview. Only 9 people took part in this part. In the second part of the research work, attention was paid to the study of parent-adult child relationships, in which 146 subjects took part. Relevance. The relevance of the study is indicated in the work from different positions. The author rightly notes that within the framework of child-parent relations in psychological science, the relationship of parents to a child is considered much more and the child to parents is considered much less. Especially when it comes to adult children. This scientific direction was practically not considered by scientists. Scientific novelty. The study showed that, considering the attitude of adult children to their parents, a number of significant aspects are highlighted: - relationships of love and a sense of comfort; - caring with problems of meeting parental expectations; - insults and claims; - criticism; - emphasizing the importance of relationships with grandparents; - guardianship is condescending towards parents; - emotional dependence with separation problems, as well as the perception of parents as a model and model. The obtained results were processed using the ?-Kronbach coefficient. The results of the study are interesting, and there is a prospect for further research. Style, structure, content. The style of presentation corresponds to publications of this level. The language of the work is scientific. The structure of the work is clearly visible. The introduction presents: a description of the relevance of the work, the problem of research is posed. The following sections – the method of the first part of the study, the results of poorly structured interviews, the method and results of the second part of the study - demonstrate the description and analysis of the results obtained. The work ends with reasoned conclusions. The results of the work are presented, among other things, in graphical form – in the form of a graph. Bibliography. The bibliography of the article includes 20 domestic and foreign sources, most of which have been published in the last three years. The list includes research articles and monographs. The sources of information are designed correctly, in accordance with the requirements. Appeal to opponents. The author needed to pay more attention to the theoretical review of modern research. There are typos and syntactic precision in the work. Conclusions. The article is distinguished by its undoubted relevance, theoretical and practical value, and will be of interest to the scientific community. The work may be recommended for publication.