Contemporary Psychology, vol. 22, br. 2, 2019

Original scientific paper

What Parents Have the Right to Know about Their Children’s Peer Relations – The Opinions of Adolescents and Their Mothers

Zora Raboteg-Šarić - Institute for Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb
Ivana Zovak - Teaching Institute of Public Health of Brod-Posavina County, Slavonski Brod

Fulltext (croatian, pages 221-239).pdf

The aim of the study was to examine the attitudes of adolescents and their mothers on what parents have the right to know about their children and the differences in the attitudes of parents and children with regard to adolescents’ gender and age. The sample included 188 high school students (94 girls and 94 boys) with an average age of 16.6 years and their mothers (N = 188). The Croatian version of the Right to Know Inventory (Krein and Brown, 2004) was used to measure attitudes toward the legitimacy of parental authority over four domains of adolescent peer relations: activities with friends, features of relationships, negative peer characteristics and positive peer characteristics. The results showed that mothers generally rate their right to know about their children and their children’s activities higher than adolescents do. Significant differences were obtained between mothers’ and children’s scores on all scales of the Right to Know Inventory, except for positive peer characteristics. Multivariate analyses of variance revealed a significant effect of adolescent gender on their attitudes on parental right to information about children, as well as a significant effect of child gender on maternal attitudes. In both analyses, the effects of child age and interactions of gender and age were not significant. Girls, compared to boys, rate parental right to information about children significantly higher in all domains, except for positive peer characteristics. Mothers who have a daughter find themselves significantly more entitled to information about the activities of children with friends and the characteristics of their relationships with peers than mothers of sons. The results are discussed in relation to research on the legitimacy of parental authority in different social domains and research on adolescent self-disclosure.

adolescents, autonomy, peer relations, parental right to know

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