Family Emotions: Do Young Adolescents and Their Parents Experience the Same States?

  • Larson R
  • Richards M
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This article tests the hypothesis, suggested by family theory, that adolescents' emotions are interrelated with their parents' emotions. A sample of 55 young adolescents, their mothers, and their fathers provided self-reports on a scale of affect over a week, following the procedures of the Experience Sampling Method. Analyses showed modest associations between adolescents and parents both in (a) their global emotional patterns (adolescents' and parents' means and variances in affect were correlated); and (b) their immediate emotions (when together, their momentary affect was correlated). These associations varied by the age and gender of the adolescent and the gender of the parent. Time sequence analyses suggested that the similarity in affect between parents and adolescents was partly attributable to transmission of emotions, particularly from daughters to parents and from fathers to sons.

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  • Reed W. Larson

  • Maryse H. Richards

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