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Bibi Aysha Shariff

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Tutorial 2: Attachment

Adolescence is defined as a transitional period. (Allen & Land, 1999) It is in this period
where adolescents want to distance themselves and become less dependent on their parents or
guardian. (Scharf & Mayseless, 2007)

Relationships with Peers


Adolescents spend less time with parents and family and more time with their peers. (Scharf
& Mayseless, 2007) They deidealize their parents and avoid them, especially in times of
stress. (Allen & Land, 1999) They have an increased need for privacy. To achieve autonomy
from their parents, they are forced to use peers as attachment figures. So that their attachment
needs are still met, but still achieving autonomy from their parents. (Allen & Land, 1999)
Developmental Changes Affecting Parent-Child Relationship
During adolescence, children develop the ability to understand abstract ideas. They are able
to establish and maintain satisfying relationships and move towards a more mature sense of
themselves and their purpose. (Allen & Land, 1999)
The adolescents developing cognitive capacities as well as physical changes such as puberty
etc, as well as social changes, produce sophisticated changes in the adolescents daily
interactions with their parent or guardian. (Allen & Land, 1999) The goal-corrected
partnership, in which each partner is willing to compromise in order to maintain a gratifying
relationship, is managed more complexly by adolescents.
They also recognize the need to manage set goals. (Allen & Land, 1999)For example, a child
who wants to watch TV, even though he was told to go to sleep. A secure adolescent who has
never broken the rules before, may expect a light form of disturbance to the parent-child
relationship. So they may give it a try. However, an insecure adolescent, who has recently
broken a serious rule, would be hesitant in breaking this rule. Which could lead to serious
repercussions in the parent-child relationship. (Allen & Land, 1999)
Although the child develops this goal-corrected relationship before adolescence, it becomes
more complex due to the fact that the adolescent is able to think clearly and understand

abstract ideas, which enable them to see the attachment relationship from their own or
parents point of view. (Allen & Land, 1999)
Arguing and disagreements become common in early adolescents. (Scharf & Mayseless,
2007)This arguing may improve the childs negotiation skills, however most of the time, the
argument is resolved by disengagement or the child giving in. This distancing promotes
individualization and independence to an extent. (Scharf & Mayseless, 2007)
After adolescents distance and detach themselves from their parents and prove in forming
relationships with non kin and are able to function themselves. They are open to depending
on their parents once again. (Scharf & Mayseless, 2007)
Adolescence does not imply cessation of attachment to parents, but rather distancing
themselves and being slightly more independent so that they gain the skills necessary to cope
socially and form extrafamilial relationships.

Works Cited
Allen, J., & Land, D. (1999). Attachment in Adolescence. In Handbook of
Attachment (pp. 319-335). New York: The Guilford Press.
Scharf, M., & Mayseless, O. (2007). Putting Eggs in More Than One Basket: A New
Look at Developmental Processes of Attachment in Adolescence 1. In Attachment
in Adolescence: Reflections and New Angles: New Directions for Child and
Adolescent Development (pp. 4-15). Jossey-Bass.