The transition from adolescence to adulthood includes, for most young adults, physical separation from their parents in order to live away from home (Moore, 1987). This physical separation was found to be associated with positive changes in the parent-adolescent relationship (Sullivan & Sullivan, 1980). The present study extended previous findings by examining the effects of physical separation from one's parents in the Israeli culture, where the time of home-leaving is based on the youngster's age (18) and is not chosen by the parents or the adolescent, and where the transition is into mandatory military service. A group of 143 young men participated in the study and filled out questionnaires regarding their relationships with their parents and their adjustment and coping at two points in time: three months before conscription and three months later, following their basic training period in the army. Relationships with mothers and fathers were reported to improve (more warmth, less confrontation, and more autonomy) between the two times of measurement. Baseline level (Time 1) relationships with parents contributed significantly to reported coping and adjustment. In addition, changes in relationships with parents, in particular a decrease in confrontation with parents and an increase in autonomy granted by parents, all significantly contributed to an increase in feelings of control and adjustment. Results are discussed in the light of the importance of relationships with primary caregivers (i.e. parents) and developmental changes in these relationships in promoting adjustment in early adulthood during home leaving transition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Life-span and Life-course Studies