On the way to adulthood: relationships with parents
In psychological and social policy discussions, the key relationships for young people are usually thought of as those with their parents. Much of the ‘moral panic’ over young men concerns the degree to which they are in or out of communication with, and control of, their parents, and government policy is directed substantially towards insisting on parental responsibility for boys’ (and, to a lesser extent, girls’) behaviour. In the classic psychoanalytic and psychological literature on ‘adolescence’ (see Waddell, 1998), teenagers are portrayed as necessarily in conflict with their parents as they start to ‘individuate’ and experiment with styles and identities of their own, and as they refer more strongly to their peer group for guidance on acceptable and fashionable ways of being. On the other hand, psychoanalytic writers in particular have stressed the importance of maintaining good, ‘containing’ relationships with parents even during this ‘storm and stress’ period, and there is also evidence from empirical studies of young people that most of them continue to value their parents’ guidance and advice, share their attitudes and seek to be on good terms with them (Rutter, 1997).
KeywordsYoung Masculinity Moral Panic Lone Mother Football Match Walk Away
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