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Parent-Child Relationship and Its Effect on Adolescents


When an individual thinks about what a good parent-children relationship should be, several factors come into mind. Researchers often touch upon the type of bond that holds the connection together in order to explain the concept of bond as a whole. Other elements that are considered in such relationships include the good communication between the two and whether the relationship is maintained with the aid of care. When a child grows up without having a good connection with their parents, they tend to have themselves exposed to numerous negative consequences in their earlier life, in their adolescent stage, or even when they become adults (Steele & McKinney, 2018). Previous research shows that when a child has a good relationship with their parents, they are likely to commit violence in their stages of life. Youth violence is one problem that communities are dealing with.

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Parenting is considered one of the most fulfilling roles that an individual might have. However, it comes with challenges, and adapting or developing strategies to mitigate the challenges is crucial. Modern family life has been stressful, and for most parents, the pressure has not been easy. The parent-child relationship is that which natures the emotional, social, and physical development of a child (Steele & McKinney, 2018). During the process, there is the formation of a unique bond where both parties enjoy the company of the other. The positive parent-child relationship is important in laying the foundation for life choices, personality, and overall behavior. It also strengthens mental, physical, and emotional health. Previous researches have looked at some of the factors that lead to the development of these right relationships. Some of the studies have concluded that young children who grow in healthy and secure attachments to their parents have better chances of developing content and happy relationships in their later life. Such children with the right relationships also learn the management of their emotions when they are in stressful conditions.

Having the right relationship with a parent enables a child to develop the right problems solving skills. Such children spend most of their time with their parents, and they get to learn faster. They will be receiving instructions from their parents and willing to do anything they are told by their parents as they believe in everything suggested by their parents. There is no perfection when it comes to parenting. It is crucial that the parents adapt and change as the children become adolescents. Some of the strategies that can be used by the parents to develop a positive relationship include having living and warm interactions with the child. Parent is expected to treat every interaction that they have with their children important. Encouraging interaction gives parents the opportunity to learn more about the child. Having boundaries, consequences, and rules shapes the child’s behavior by telling them the right thing and those that may be considered wrong. Parents need to find that time when they listen and empathize with their children.

Rationale for Investigation

One of the most common topics in research on parent-child relationships is the direct dependency between positive outcomes in children and the quality of relationships between parents. According to Scharp and Thomas (2016), there is only a limited number of projects addressing this concept, which creates specific obstacles for various subgroups that could be affected by this issue as well. Therefore, the ultimate well-being of adolescents could be seen as relying on parent-child relationships to a much greater extent than it has been identified previously. There are numerous variables that could affect the parent-child relationship, from behavioral patterns to socioeconomic peculiarities (Portner & Riggs, 2016). Therefore, the cases of externalization and internalization or inappropriate competence in children could be considered the key contributors to the development of specific feelings or behaviors.

The topic of such interpersonal relationships has to be investigated because adolescence is one of the essential predictors of unregulated behaviors in children, especially under the condition where there are additional factors influencing that (Thompson & McFerran, 2015). There may be issues related to school education or in-house upbringing that merely affected the child to an extent where they do not want or do not know how to establish positive relationships with the remaining world. This association between the parent-child relationship and children’s well-being can be linked to the quality of the relationship between parents as well (Li et al., 2020). The possible difficulties related to parent-child relationships have to be researched in order to consider the spillover effects of wrongful partnerships with the environment. Therefore, the researcher’s willingness to take on the subject of parent-child relationships is related to the idea that children could benefit from their relations with their parents.

Problem Statement

Deviant behavior in children has been a major concern in the current communities. Some of these behaviors include abuse, violence, and substance abuse in adolescents. These actions are highly influenced by family, mainly parents. It is agreed that the activities of peers and society have a great impact on the life of children. Most of the impacts are evident during adolescence. Therefore the attachment between a child and their parents needs to be explored to determine some of the strategies that can be used to reduce the deviant behavior. Additionally, the rates of crime can be reduced in the societies when there is the right management of children where their parents show them the right path that they need to follow, teenager crime reduces.

Research Hypotheses

The parent-child relationship has been a topic of study in previous research. In this investigation, there will be determining the bond created between parents and their children and the impacts that they have on the lives of these adults. Some of the hypotheses that will be used during the research are outlined below.

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  1. A positive relationship between a parent and a child leads to the right behaviors when an individual gets to the adolescent stage.
  2. Some of the main elements that create a good relationship between a parent and their adolescents include good communication, commitment, and physical presence of the guardian.
  3. Setting rules and regulations for a child is not the right behavior management strategy, and a parent will have to create a positive bond.

Literature Review

The relationship between a parent and their children has mainly been studied in terms of the probability of their children developing deviance behaviors. Parents are expected to teach their children the best practices and living with others in the community. According to Steele and McKinney (2019), children who receive parental guidance and encouragement are likely to develop the right behavior and refrain from crime. Such children are also less likely to rebel from their parents. The relationship where the parents provide the right guidance creates an attachment where the children that their parents care for them and they need to be loyal. In such situations, a child would not be willing to disappoint someone they have had a connection with. Disobeying their parents by going against their wishes would not be an option if the attachment is strong. Imrie et al. (2020) also note that in situations where the attachment does not exist, the probability of children involving in criminal activities increases. One of the elements of deviant behavior would be involved in violent behavior.

Internalization of some of the rules and regulations that parents may want from their child needs the right attachment. The bond between the two has to make the child accountable when they involve in defiant behaviors. Chen et al. (2018) argue that the attachment needs to be developed when a child grows. Having the bonds will make the adolescent want to stick and abide by the standards that are created by their parents. They grow up knowing some of the consequences when they behave against the norms. When the consequences are harsh, an adolescent will refrain from behavior that upset their parents. When there is no attachment, it implies that a child may be willing to involve in any action as they know there is no punishment for such acts.

Bonds are effectively created between a parent and their child when there is a physical presence. Chen et al. (2018), in their research, determined that for a child to refrain from violent behaviors, they should ways have physical touch with their parents. The situation shows that monitoring is an important element in bringing about the right parent-child relationship. They determined that when a bond is created, it is not enough to prevent a child from developing deviant behavior. Parent presence and monitoring a child makes them have the right behavior when they get to be adolescents. When a child wants to commit a crime or involve in deviant behavior, it is not long-term, and they would need the shortest time possible. Supervision without developing a bond hence would not have a positive impact on the child. The supervision goes hand in hand with developing the needed bond.

Communication is another component of a parent-child relationship that either makes or destroys the bond. Babore et al. (2016) determined that adolescents are so sensitive to some of the statements that they get from their parents. When parents have negative statements directed towards their children, there is a disconnection of the bond that might have been created. The strength of the bond in these cases depends on the positivity when a parent communicates to their child. When the relationship is not warm, it is likely to have a negative impact on the child psychologically, and they may develop deviant behaviors. When communication is appropriate, the bond is enhanced, and the positive effects are attained.

Peer influence is another element that has impacted the relationship between a parent and a child. The research on the bond between the two shows the importance of interventions where parents ensure that other forces that could influence the behavior of the children are avoided. Peer influence greatly determines the behavior of a child. Despite the research not focusing on the peer influence on the behavior of a child, it is an important element to determine some of the factors that work alongside the relationship between a child and a parent.

To summarize the findings from above rather briefly, it may be concluded that attachments define human behaviors and are most likely to affect children to an extent where they are going to behave exactly how it was instilled by their parents. This hypothesis makes the future research on the subject of parent-child relationships a crucial venue that has to be investigated to prove that there is a strong link between parental attitudes and adolescents’ willingness to protect their bond with parents instead of destroying it. With the relevant literature saying that the bond actually exists and influences children in a statistically significant manner, it may be a valuable experience for the researcher to gain more insight into parent-child relationships while looking into the social bond theory.

Theoretical Framework

Social bond theory can be used to explain the facts of a relationship between a child and their parents. Hirsch, in his arguments, claims that socialization and the formation of personal relationships with peers and family members are some of the most important element in human development that keeps individuals from involving in criminal activities (Stafford et al., 2016). Such links also prevent persons from involving in other social deviances. When children have the right relationship with their family members and others in their age groups, they get to learn positive elements of their societies. They are less likely to commit criminal activities against people they are expected to live within the communities. The notion of the social bond theory is that having such relationships makes the children recognize that they are dependent on others from which they need to have empathy (Crocetti et al., 2017). Aging against the norms of society would make them receive punishments, such as going to prison. In this study, the relationship between parents and their child can be looked at in terms of the connection between belief and attachments when applied to such bonds (Ordway et al., 2015). Additionally, the theory can be used to show how adolescents in the community are affected when the bonds that they have with their families are broken.

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Based on the existing information regarding the social bond theory, it may be concluded that it provides the author of the current proposal with the knowledge required to establish proper research questions and then collect the data to respond to them. According to Hill and Pollock (2015), our attachments to significant others represent one of the key predictors of certain behaviors. This is especially true for specific activities that require the person in question to avert themselves from engaging in illicit or disapproved doings. Every person achieves certain progress when living their life, and it should be noted that the social bond theory sees that progress as something that cannot be touched or altered (Johnson & Young, 2015). Therefore, parent-child relationships have to be viewed through the prism of involvement in behaviors that affect their separate or joint well-being either positively or negatively. This paradox contributes to the need to address parent-child relationships because social bonds regulate human well-being and behaviors.

While possessing quite a few advantages, the social bond theory is also affected by a weakness that suggests that adolescents committing too many attempts to break the bond might ultimately succeed and weaken the connection (Steimer & Mata, 2016). Even though it may seem reasonable for adolescents to highlight their independence, some of these attempts might be too harsh, overshadowing the value of the social bond theory as a whole. The problem that was not considered in that case was the presence of flexible bonds that could become more or less strict depending on the environment and external variables (Reeder et al., 2015). Despite having no natural inclination to break bonds, many adolescents engage in inappropriate behaviors to delineate their transition into adulthood, which may also lead the author of the current proposal to the conclusion that the social bond theory is a clear representation of how delinquency could be overcome on a long-term scale.

Research Design

Descriptive research will be applied in this study. It will involve the description of the characteristics of the population that is to be studied, looking at the factors that enhance the right relationship between a parent and a child. Determining the factors that encourage the positive bond between a child and parents would be then used as an inference of the positive effects that these relationships bring. The research design will enable determining the ‘what’ question on the subjects. It will be effective to study the phenomenon of the research using the design as it will provide the answer to the research questions, including what factors contribute to the right relationship between parents and their children. Additionally, it will effectively give reasons for the effects of such relationships.

  • RQ1: What are the qualities that define positive outcomes in children within a parent-child relationship according to parents themselves?
  • RQ2: What are the predictors of improved well-being in adolescents who maintain a troubled relationship with their parents, and what are the implications of such relationships?
  • RQ3: What does the social bond theory do to connect to adolescents who are engaged in a troubled relationship with their parents?

A descriptive research design will be used in this study, as it will enable the definition of the respondents’ characteristics. Through the characteristics, it will be possible to draw conclusions on the effects that good parent-child relations have on their behavior when they become adolescents. Defining the definitions of the characteristics will also be possible as it will enable understand the characteristics, behavior, and patterns of the study sample. Using the design will be effective in measuring data trends. The results obtained will also be compared to those that might have been obtained from previous researches. Validating the existing conditions on the previous researches on the relationship between parents and their children will also be achieved when the design is used.

The descriptive research design wills also the survey method to be used in the collection of data. It is effective as the data collection will be holistic. The primary data collection will have been covered, and more information will be obtained in this case. Varied information will be collected, and it gives a holistic understanding of the research phenomenon. Natural environments during data collection are essential for obtaining accurate results. The research design will allow the behavior of the adolescent to be collected from their natural settings to ensure observation of some of the elements that they might be talking about.

Analysis Methods

Statistical data analysis techniques will be applied in the research. In this case, the information collected will be interpreted and validated for an effective conclusion on the relationship between parents and their adolescents and the impacts that they have on behavior. Structured data will be processed to quantify the data to be used in the analysis. Since the study will involve quantitative data, the observations and answers from the open-ended questionnaires will undergo a descriptive analysis process. Statistics Package for Social Science will be used as the tool to analyze the data.

During the analysis, there will be the determination of some of the behaviors and effects that the adolescent has when they have the right bonds with their parents. Through the mean, there will be the determination of a common benefit for strong bonds and some of the common effects that are achieved when the right relationships are not developed. The mean will be important in giving a snapshot of the data on how the relationship between parents and their children influence the behavior of the youth.

The standard deviation of the data will also be determined. When used alongside the mean, it will indicate the spread of information from the mean. It will show some of the close effects on the positive effects achieved when a strong bond is developed between a parent and their children. A high deviation will show the widespread of the data from the mean. When the standard deviation is low, it will imply that the deviation is aligned to the mean. The method of statistical analysis will be used in this case as it will effectively enable the determination of the dispersion of the data points. Regression analysis will also be used in this study to determine the relationship between the dependent and independent variables developed for the research. A scatter plot will be used, and a regression line is drawn to determine whether the relationships that are between the variables are weak or strong.

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The last part of the analysis will involve hypothesis testing. The method will be used to determine whether the premise that a good relationship between a parent and an adolescent reduces the probabilities of the individuals involving in violent behavior. The study will be statistically significant only when the results that are obtained could not have happened by chance or randomly. It will also be used to determine whether the hypotheses that were identified for the research are successfully validated and the whole research in general could be replicated with no specific changes made to the initial proposal.

Study Participants

The participants to be included in the survey are students who are in grade 6 through to grade 12. The research will be intended to question the students on some of the behaviors that they have involved or likely to involve in activities such as drinking, smoking, and the use of drugs. Other elements that were considered in the research included the background of the families, the attitudes that the participants have over attending school, victimization, and violence that they have experienced, religious attitude, and peer behavior. The time that the participants had spent with their parents will be analyzed to determine whether they could have influenced their behavior. The parents of the study participants will also be questioned on some of the strategies that they use to ensure they have the right relationship with their children.

Data Collection Procedure

Data collection for the research will be done through questionnaires. Before the delivery of the questionnaires, there will be getting the consent of the participants. Since most of them will be young, their parents will be asked whether they could allow their children to participate in the study. After signing the consent forms, they will be presented with the questionnaires and given three days to complete them and return them for analysis. Those participants that will not be reached through the physical questionnaires will have their copies emailed. They are expected to read and understand the questions and write down the responses in the spaces provided. Parents will also have their questionnaires to complete to show some of the strategies that they have used to ensure they maintain the right relationship with their children. Each of the different groups is expected to fill in the details independently.

Questionnaires were chosen as the tools for data collection as they will be economical and cover a large population. The geographical locations of the respondents will not be a challenge in this case, as they may get to use the electronic format to complete the survey. Additionally, the method was determined to be free from bias that could have been through interviews where the respondents would have been needed to have face to face interviews. Most of the answers that will be obtained from the method will be on the words of the respondents. Giving the respondents three days to complete the research will give them the right time that they need to think about the answers and provide accurate information. Since a large sample size will be used, the method would ensure that the results obtained make the study reliable and dependable.

During the data collection, the measures of variables that will be used are outlined below.

The parent-adolescent relationship is one of the variables that will be used. The variable will look the how the parents seem to understand the participants, the rules that the parents are to them, the fairness in their treatment, and other strategies that the parents use to ensure they have the right behavior. Violent behavior was another variable in the research and was intended to determine some of the factors that may encourage the adolescent to involve in violent activities. The study will look at the students getting involved in pinning down someone, slapping another person, hit, or throw an object onto an individual. The violent acts were then coded and given a scale between 0 and 9. The control variable was also included in the research. Age, race, and sex were the control variable in the study. The sex of the adolescent was either male or female. Both sexes were included in the research to determine their different behaviors. The ages of the participants were between 10 and 21 years. Participants were included from all the races.


Overall, the current proposal shows that there is an opportunity to investigate the link between social bond theory and parent-child relationships that could be affected by numerous external variables. As a social phenomenon, this bond should be researched as a predictor of numerous other crucial events that could affect both individual actors involved in these proceedings and complete communities depending on specific bonds. The theory of social bond has been chosen to support this research project because it certainly fosters an outlook on parent-child relationships where there is a need for a systematic approach and stronger conceptualization. The author of the current proposal is willing to investigate the beliefs and attachments of both parents and adolescent children to find out if the link between them exists and whether it affects the children’s well-being or not.


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