Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 133–145 | Cite as

The nuclear family: Correspondence in cognitive and affective reactions to the threat of nuclear war among older adolescents and their parents

  • Scott B. Hamilton
  • Thomas A. Knox
  • William G. Keilin


In order to assess the relationship between family members' cognitive and affective responses to nuclear war issues, 317 college students and their parents (n=559) independently completed a multifaceted questionnaire that included items concerning personal reactions, predictions, opinions, and attitudes about nuclear war. Results revealed a negligible relationship between the responses of college students and their parents, although the level of concordance between mothers and fathers was somewhat greater. Moreover, parents and students were relatively poor at predicting each others' nuclear threat attitudes, and the strength with which an attitude was endorsed did not enhance its predictability. Results are discussed with regard to heterogeneity in attitudinal and affective reactions within families, and with regard to the idea that infrequent communication concerning nuclear war issues may be occurring.


Family Member College Student Health Psychology School Psychology Nuclear Family 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott B. Hamilton
    • 1
  • Thomas A. Knox
    • 1
  • William G. Keilin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColorado State UniversityFort Collins

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