Mothers' friendships with other adults can have a negative influence on their adolescent children's relationships with their own friends, a new study reveals.
Gary C. Glick, a doctoral candidate at University of Missouri, and Amanda Rose, professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, studied the development of friendships and other peer relationships during adolescence and their impact on psychological adjustment.
They found that adolescents may mimic the negative characteristics of their mothers' relationships in their own peer-to-peer friendships suggesting that mothers can serve as role models for their adolescents during formative years.
Youth ranging in age from 10 to 17 and their mothers were polled separately to measure perceived positive and negative friendship qualities in both groups.
Results showed that positive friendship qualities were not always imitated by adolescents; however, negative and antagonistic relationship characteristics exhibited by mothers were much more likely to be mimicked by the youth studied.
The study is published in Journal of Research on Adolescence.