Perceived Functions of Family and Friends During Childhood, Adolescence, and Youth: Developmental Theories of Two Turkish Groups

Nuran Hortaçsu, Tülin Gençöz, Atiye Oral
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 30 Issue 5

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The present study compared Turkish University students' and middle‐aged adults' developmental theories about the perceived importance of needs related to different life tasks and functionality of relationships with parents, same‐sex siblings, and friends for need satisfaction during childhood, adolescence, and youth. A retrospective method was used. The following results emerged: (1) the importance of needs related to a search for identity and intimacy increased and the importance of those related to dependency decreased from childhood to adolescence; (2) needs related to intimacy maintained a high level of importance during youth whereas importance of the need for self‐understanding/development decreased from adolescence to youth; (3) increases in the perceived importance of friends occurred between childhood and adolescence, especially with respect to needs related to identity and intimacy issues; (4) decreases in the perceived importance of parents were reported between adolescence and youth, especially with respect to needs related to identity, intimacy, and dependency; (5) developmental theories of groups and sexes did not differ; (6) group and sex differences with respect to importance ratings of some needs emerged.

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