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The experience of parent-adolescent conversation from the adolescent’s perspective Eugster, Katherine Elizabeth

Abstract

This study explored the experience of eleven adolescents in the context of having a conversation with his or her parent. The adolescents were interviewed individually using a semi-structured format in order to obtain detailed descriptions of the adolescent's experience of having a conversation with a parent. A phenomenological approach was used for data analysis incorporating horizonalization, transformation, and synthesis, which resulted in individual and general structural descriptions of the experience. Two main categories of meaning were extracted: (1) the adolescent's experience of expressing independence from the parent, and (2) the adolescent's experience of feeling close and connected to the parent. Within these two main categories, core themes of the experience were also extracted and were as follows: (a) adolescent experiences expressing his or her point of view, (b) adolescent experiences the parent expressing his or her point of view, (c) adolescent experiences making a request, (d) adolescent experiences the parent making a demand, (e) adolescent experiences feeling comfortable talking with the parent, (f) adolescent experiences the parent supporting him or her, (g) adolescent experiences supporting the parent, and (h) adolescent experiences understanding the parent. The findings suggest how parents can help their adolescent children express themselves in appropriate ways, and at the same time, help the adolescent maintain closeness and connection with the parent. Ultimately, the goal is to strengthen the parent-adolescent relationship.

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