The interface of adolescent and parent marital expectations

Shmuel Shulman, Eliyahu Rosenheim, Danielle Knafo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study investigated the extent to which adolescents’ marital expectations are related to the marital expectations of their parents; it also examined the extent to which nature of attachment to parent and level of adolescent individuation moderate the carryover of marital expectations models from parents to children. Participants included 81 adolescent– father–mother triads who completed a marital expectations inventory. The quality of attachment to parent and the intensity of the need for attachment also were evaluated. Results showed that parental married expectations, when evaluated from a systemic perspective, accounted for the marital expectations of their adolescent sons and daughters. Adolescents’ quality of attachment and their need for attachment also affected the association between adolescents’ and parents’ marital expectations. More particularly, maternal expectations and the quality of attachment to the mother best accounted for the variance of adolescents’ martial expectations. Fathers, on the other hand, made the more significant contribution only for expectation of respect for individuality. Results are discussed within the framework of gender differences in close relationships and patterns of intergenerational coherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalThe American Journal of Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


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