FAMILY PROBLEM-SOLVING: HOW DO FAMILIES WITH ADOLESCENTS MAKE DECISIONS?
In the present study, we adopt an observational method for the analysis of family members’ interactions during a problem-solving task. The specific focus of our work is to put the family as a whole beneath the lens of observation, as well as to analyze how the parents and the adolescent separately contribute to the task solution. Twenty-eight non-clinical families with adolescents (13 to 16 years old) were filmed in their homes during a problem-solving task. Family interactions were analyzed according to four observational measures: family efficiency, family communication, family climate, and family participation. Three different patterns of family decision-making are described: families that control (high efficiency, calm family climate, collaborative participation), families that surrender (low efficiency, tense family climate, individual participation), and families that struggle (intermediate efficiency, serious family climate, alternated participation). Theoretical and practical implications in terms of everyday ways of dealing with problems in families with adolescents are discussed.
family problem-solving, observation, decision-making, family efficiency, adolescence
International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies
© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada
This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported license.