Parentification – its direction and perceived benefits in terms of connections with late adolescents’ emotional regulation in the situation of marital conflict
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Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2016-09-14
Final revision date: 2017-01-25
Acceptance date: 2017-01-27
Online publication date: 2017-03-15
Publication date: 2017-04-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2017;5(2):113-122
Parentification means distortion of the roles between family members. A child performs adult tasks and responsibilities for his siblings and/or parents. The aim of the study was to extend the knowledge about parentification and its connections with parental conflict as well as strategies of coping with parental conflict in the group of late adolescents who live with their parents or live on their own.

Participants and procedure
The empirical evidence consisted of the results of 264 volunteer late adolescents. Two questionnaires were used in the study. The first one was the experimental version of the Polish adaptation of Hooper’s Parentification Inventory. It is a scale that enables one to assess the intensity of parentification levels that are judged retrospectively by the subject. The second tool was the experimental version of the Polish adaptation of Davies’ and Forman’s Security in the Interparental Subsystem Scale – Child Report. The scale examines children’s reactions to parental conflict.

The obtained results suggest that intensity of parental conflict and strategies of coping with it influence parentification characteristics. The connections seem to be different in two adolescent groups – those who still live with their parents and those who decided to live on their own.

Thus, parental conflict may foster tightening of the family bonds and intensify parentification at the same time. On the other hand, in order to separate and break excessive family ties, adolescents may move out of the family house.
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