Influence of Parent-Adolescent Communication on Adolescent Peer Relations and Gender Implications
Keywords:Father-adolescent communication, gender, mother-adolescent communication, peer relations.
AbstractThis study was conceptualized against a backdrop of Kenya’s a troubled secondary school system; characterized by incidences of students’ unrests, drug abuse, examination cheating, school dropouts and other forms of indiscipline. Although literature points to the role of parent-adolescent relations in development of behavioural problems in adolescent period, the government of Kenya has not linked the problem situation in schools to parent-adolescent relations. This study therefore compared the influence of father- and mother-adolescent communication on peer relations of secondary school students. It also investigated the influence of gender on parent-adolescent communication. The research population comprised of Form 2 and 3 students from Eldoret Municipality, Kenya. It used correlational and causal comparative research designs. Stratified and random sampling techniques were used to select ten schools and 462 students. Questionnaires were used in data collection. The reliability and validity of the research instruments was established through pre-testing. The study found strong positive correlations between both mother- and father-adolescent communication and adolescent peer relations, thus indicating that mother-adolescent communication had a greater influence on adolescent peer relations than father-adolescent communication. Gender also had a significant influence on father-adolescent communication, indicating that male students had a more open communications with their fathers than female students. However, gender had no influence on mother-adolescent communication. The findings may help enhance knowledge of parent-adolescent communication and may also be useful to stakeholders in education in developing communication skills training programmes to promote social competence in adolescents.
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