Adolescent family disengagement: An empirical test of Haley's model

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Herbert Dandes - Committee Chair


Forty high school seniors identified by school counselors as members of dysfunctional families were reliably matched on race, gender, achievement and socio-economic status with forty students believed to be members of healthy families. The Self-Report Family Instrument confirmed differences between the groups, with the Normal Group obtaining lower scores, indicating greater family competence. The purpose of the study was to determine whether students from dysfunctional families would be more likely to remain home following high school graduation in order to protect the family system. Chi-square analyses showed no relationship between family dysfunction and intentions to leave home, or home leaving at three month and twelve month intervals following graduation. A nonsignificant trend was noted that students from intact dysfunctional families were somewhat more likely to remain home than were students from divorced families experiencing continuing conflict.Two significant differences were found between the groups. The Dysfunctional Group was more likely to experience a variety of problems during the senior year, including delayed graduation, dropping out, running away and becoming ill. When comparing students who intended to leave home following graduation, students in the Dysfunctional Group were less likely to carry through with their intentions.


Education, Educational Psychology

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text