Positive and negative qualities of South African adolescents’ parent and peer relationships
AbstractParent and peer relationships are important social resources for adolescents. South African research on adolescents’ relationships, however, underemphasises these relationships as potential positive resources. Studies also tend to use samples from urban populations, while rural and semi-rural adolescent populations are neglected. This study focused on White and Coloured adolescents living in one South African semi-rural community and their ratings of positive and negative relationship qualities in relationships with parents and peers. Using the Network of Relationships Inventory (NRI), we found that mothers, best friends and romantic partners were relatively equal sources of social support. Mothers’ high ratings for support, conflict and punishment may point to mothers bearing the primary responsibility for child care. Fathers’ low support ratings raise concern as father involvement is important for adolescents’ well-being. White participants overall rated their relationship higher for support and lower for negative qualities than the Coloured participants.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2014, 26(1): 1–14