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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The conditions that hinder or facilitate conflict resolution in Italian families DiDiomete, Patrizia


This study gathers information about which factors facilitate, and, which factors hinder conflict resolution, in second general Italian Families. The subjects were asked questions using Flanagan's Critical Incident Technique. This structured set of principles is a tool which guides subjects to give important and new information about conflict resolution. The study was based on research that indicates that the second generation Italian Family experiences conflict and disorganization during acculturation. There is increasing evidence that ethnic values and identification play a significant role in the family life cycle. Re-adjustment to a new culture is a prolonged developmental process which affects all members differently. The "adolescent" family stage seems particularly problematic since in addition to the normal developmental adjustment required, Italians struggle with multiple transitions which exacerbate inter-generational conflict. Intergeneration conflict was studied by interviewing a total of 10 adults and 10 adolescents; one adult and one adolescent from each family. The sample was drawn from the Burnaby North High School Enrollment Roster and interviewed in their own homes. These subjects reported a total of 134 incidents — 29 facilitative and 105 hindering. The results of the study indicated 14 basic categories. There were 8 categories that reported incidents which facilitated conflict resolution and 6 categories that reported incidents which hinder conflict resolution. Conflict resolution was facilitated when the discussion reached a limit and became closed or when humor was used. Conflict resolution was facilitated by an apology, showing tolerance, compromising arid negotiation. Other factors that were facilitative were parental agreement and family closeness. On the other hand conflict resolution was hindered when there was conflicting expectations, lack of understanding, rejection, disagreement, disobedience and disrespect and parental conflict. These findings, to the Italian community, normalizes conflict processes as an understandable and resolvable problem. The information gathered provides a categorical map which can be used to assess the ways conflict is maintained and to strengthen ways in which conflict is reduced.

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