Adolescents' perceptions on selected social factors influencing the quality of parent-adolescent relationships: a case study of Nairobi, Kenya
The purpose for this study was to investigate the quality of parent-adolescent relationship according to the adolescent’s perceptions. Social factors that influence parent-teen relationships as well as the most common sources of parent-teen conflict were also identified. A conceptual model derived from Brofenbrenner's Ecology of Human Development theory was used to guide the study. A random sample of 315 teenagers from 6 secondary schools in Nairobi Province was used to provide the required data through the use of self-administered questionnaires. Data were analyzed by use of frequencies, percentages, means and Oneway Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The results of the study revealed that more than three quarters of the teenagers (82.2%) were classified as having good or very good relationship with the mother, 67.6% with the father and 74.3% with both parents. About half of the teenagers described their relationship with the mother and the father as good (53.2% and 46.4% respectively). The teenager's intensity of religion and conformity to peers significantly influenced the quality of relationship between the teenager and the mother, the father, and with both parents. The family type and birth rank of the teenager significantly influenced the quality of relationship between the teenager and the father as well as with both parents, but did not influence the relationship with the mother. The teenager's level of involvement with peers influenced the quality of relationship with the mother, but neither with the father nor with both parents. The teenagers age, gender, number of siblings and the type of school he/she attends did not significantly influence the quality of relationship with either the mother, the father or with both parents. Academic performance of the teenager was the most common and serious cause of parent-teen conflict, followed by boyfriend and girlfriend relations. Results also revealed that if teenagers were with their parents they would discuss a wide range of issues such as academic work, general friends, boyfriend/girlfriend relations and autonomy in decision-making.