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Individuation and Parents as People: Measurement Concerns Regarding Two Aspects of Autonomy

NCJ Number
Journal of Adolescence Volume: 30 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2007 Pages: 751-760
Brian Anderson; Joseph C. LaVoie; Curt S. Dunkel
Date Published
October 2007
10 pages
The focus of this study was to examine two assumed components of adolescent autonomy--individuation and perceiving parents as people and the validity of their measurement
The data pertaining to concurrent validity for the two measures of individuation and the two perceiving parents as people scales showed nonsignificant correlations between the two individuation measures and between the two perceiving parents as people measures. Concurrent validity for these measures was not demonstrated. Also, there was no confirming evidence for concurrent validity across the two measures of viewing parents as people. In summary, since individuation occupies an important role in theories of psychosocial development, and especially identity theory and formation, there may be a need to rethink autonomy and whether individuation and parents as people are components, and to become more precise in the operational definition of autonomy. Future research should focus on developing stronger psychometric measures of individuation, viewing parents as people, and autonomy, and examine the conceptual link between them. Individuation is defined as a late adolescent/early adulthood acquisition, referring to the intrapsychic separation from the family of origin. Viewing parents as people is linked to individuation in that it is another process associated with developing a more independent and objective relationship with one’s parents. Neither individuation nor viewing the parent as a person are constructs that have been well grounded in theory. The purpose of this study was to assess the concurrent and construct validity of two measures of each of these processes. Participating in the study were 67 students in grades 9 and 11 and 118 college students. Each student completed two measures of individuation and two measures of parents as people. Tables, references