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Daughters’ Anger towards Mothers and Fathers in Emerging Adulthood


We examined young women’s anger towards mothers and fathers in emerging adulthood using a qualitative methodology and a feminist theoretical framework. To achieve this objective, we interviewed 16 young women (18–25 years-old) residing in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region about their relationship with fathers and mothers and their anger within these relationships. The qualitative analysis revealed four types of relationships between young adult women and their fathers and mothers: challenging conflictual, challenging mutual, accepting authoritarian, and accepting authoritative. Our analysis also demonstrated that young women relate in two ways to their anger at mothers and fathers: accepting anger or distancing from anger. Furthermore, they express their anger at mothers and fathers following three distinct patterns: non-expression, indirect expression, and direct expression. The distribution of participants within coding sub-categories for anger at fathers and anger at mothers, as well as the reasons provided by young women as to why they related to anger or expressed anger in a particular manner at fathers and mothers suggests: (a) women’s relationships to fathers and mothers are shaped by gender power dynamics in the family and (b) women’s relation to anger and anger expression towards mothers and fathers is influenced by gendered relationships towards fathers and mothers.

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Correspondence to Ana L. Jaramillo-Sierra.

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Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

In developing the current study, we followed all ethical standards for research projects with human subjects. Participants in this study provided written Informed Consent before being involved in any procedures for data collection.

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All authors affirm that there were no conflicts of interest in relation to this study.

Article Note

The present study used data from a larger qualitative study on young women’s anger, which was approved by Virginia Tech’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

No external funding was involved in this research.

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Jaramillo-Sierra, A.L., Kaestle, C.E. & Allen, K.R. Daughters’ Anger towards Mothers and Fathers in Emerging Adulthood. Sex Roles 75, 28–42 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-016-0599-9

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  • Women’s anger
  • Parent–child relationships
  • Gender
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Feminist family studies