Adolescent Friendships

And The Effects of Parental Involvement

The three most important qualities in an adolescent friendship:

1. Intimacy: a psychological closeness supported by a mutual understanding of each other's values, beliefs, and feelings

2. Loyalty: sticking up for your friend as well as staying by their side

3. Self-Disclosure: the ability to share everything with your friend

During adolescence, teens start turning away from parents and towards friends

This can be either a good or a bad thing. If the friend is a positive influence that encourages good behaviors, then it is welcomed. But often, friends have a negative influence on teens that can bring about deviant and unwanted behaviors.

Parental Directing of Friendships

Positive Effects of Involvement

Many times, parent and teen relationships are strong enough that the parent can help guide their child in the right direction when it comes to choosing friends. Parental opinions are often accepted and welcomed.

Negative Effects of Involvement

On the other hand, if a parent is too involved in telling their teenager who to be friends with, often the teen pushes farther away from the parent. This similarly leads the teen towards unwanted behaviors in the eyes of the parent.

Interested in Reading Further?

If you are looking for a book to help ease through this period of adolescence, then you should check you Surviving Adolescence, A Roadmap for Teens and Their Parents by Calvin Colarusso, M.D. After being a child psychiatrist and treating adolescents for 50 years, he gave his best insight to this difficult period of life in his book.

Works Cited


Berk, Laura E. Development Through the Lifespan. 5th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Print.

Tu, Kelly M. "Physiological Reactivity Moderates The Association Between Parental Directing And Young Adolescent Friendship Adjustment." Developmental Psychology (2014): PsycINFO. Web. 10. Nov. 2014.

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