A Study Of Personality And The Parent-Adolescent Relationship: The Development Of The Parent-Adolescent Relationship Survey (teenagers)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




The Parent-Adolescent Relationship Survey (PARS) was developed to measure self-reported and perceived behaviors of both parents and teenagers in relevant situations. The instrument consists of eight vignettes following each of which there are parental and adolescent reactions which are scored on a Likert scale. Its construction proceeded through several stages including substantive validation and pilot-testing. The PARS is theoretically grounded: the eight adolescent dimensions include the Submissive, Conforming, Narcissistic, Histrionic, Ambivalent, Aggressive, Avoidant, and Democratic; the parental dimensions represented are the Protective, Casual, Controlling, Rejecting, Inconsistent, Overemotional, Indulgent, and Democratic.The final form of the PARS was administered along with either the Millon Adolescent Personality Inventory or the Millon Behavioral Health Inventory to 66 clinical teenagers and their parents and to 60 normals. Estimates of reliability were attractively high. Patterns of correlations indicate that the adolescent's perceptions of his/her parent's style is related to his/her own style to a greater degree than is the parent's reported style. Specific constellations of perceived parental behavior emerged for each adolescent style. The adolescent style scales of the PARS correlated well with the personality scales of the MAPI, but the parental style scales did not, in general, correlate with the MBHI scales. Controlling for differences between the samples in socioeconomic status, results from MANOVA indicate that the clinical group was significantly different in the expected direction from the normal group on the PARS dimensions. Implications for use in research and clinical work are discussed.


Psychology, Personality

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