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Perceptions of communication, cohesion, and adaptability in families of adolescents with and without learning handicaps


Adaptability, cohesion, and communication patterns were studied in 30 families of learning-handicapped adolescents and 30 families of nonhandicapped adolescents. Parent and adolescent perspectives on each of these variables were solicited. The results indicated that adolescents in each of these groups had similar perspectives on adaptability, cohesion, and communication. The parents of the learning-handicapped adolescents, however, felt that their families were less cohesive and had lower levels of communication about problems than did their offspring. When levels of communication were related to adaptability and cohesion, it was evident for both groups that the families with high reported cohesiveness had the most positive communication patterns. Additionally, adolescents rated their families higher on communication if they also perceived a greater amount of flexibility in adaptation.

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Correspondence to Gale M. Morrison.

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Morrison, G.M., Zetlin, A. Perceptions of communication, cohesion, and adaptability in families of adolescents with and without learning handicaps. J Abnorm Child Psychol 16, 675–685 (1988).

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  • Communication Pattern
  • Positive Communication
  • Similar Perspective
  • Adolescent Perspective