Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 790–797 | Cite as

Developmental Changes in Discrepancies Between Adolescents’ and Their Mothers’ Views of Family Communication

  • Andres De Los Reyes
  • Christine McCauley Ohannessian
  • Robert D. Laird
Original Paper


Prior work indicates that adolescents perceive the family more negatively than do their parents. These discrepant views comprise some of the most robust observations in psychological science, and are observed on survey reports collected in vastly different cultures worldwide. Yet, whether developmental changes occur with these discrepant views remains unclear. In a sample of 141 adolescents and their mothers, we examined 1-year developmental changes in discrepancies between parents’ and adolescents’ views of family functioning. We focused on discrepant views about a relatively covert domain of family functioning (i.e., internal views of open communication) and a relatively overt domain of such functioning (i.e., views about observable communication problems). We observed significant developmental changes in discrepant views for open communication, but not for communication problems. These findings have important implications for research examining links between discrepant views of family functioning and whether these discrepancies serve as risk or protective factors for adolescent psychosocial functioning.


Family functioning Informant discrepancies Multiple informants Operations Triad Model Polynomial regression 



This research was supported by Grant 5K01AA015059 to Christine McCauley Ohannessian from the National Institutes of Health. We appreciate the involvement of all of the students who participated. Special thanks go to members of the Adolescent Adjustment Project staff, especially Kelly Cheeseman, Lisa Fong, Alyson Cavanaugh, Jessica Schulz, Laura Finan, Sara Bergamo, Ashley Malooly, and Ashley Ings.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andres De Los Reyes
    • 1
  • Christine McCauley Ohannessian
    • 2
  • Robert D. Laird
    • 3
  1. 1.Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention Program, Department of PsychologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and University of Connecticut School of MedicineHartfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA

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