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Communication - Important Aspect of Interpersonal Relationships

Autor:   •  October 31, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,005 Words (5 Pages)  •  127 Views

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Claims and key assumption(s)

Communication is an important aspect of interpersonal relationships, and a number of studies have been conducted to assess the impact of parent communication in early adolescence. The aim of this paper is to critically analyze an article titled “Children with greater parent communication in early adolescence have less harmful alcohol use and emotional eating in young adulthood.” The article claims that children with greater parent communication in their early adolescence stages have less harmful alcohol use and emotional eating in young adulthood. This assumption is based on a14-year research study that was performed on individuals aged between 11 and 25 years old to determine the impact of parent communication on brain development and the health behaviors in adulthood. The research is a longitudinal study that consisted of rural African American families and it was initiated in 2001 with participants who had attained eleven years. According to the study, the extent of communication that exists between parents and children facilitates the development of a brain network involved in the processing of stimuli as well as other stimuli that, in turn, prevents the overconsumption of alcohol, food, and drugs. Accordingly, the study revealed that strong communication between parents and their child has a huge influence on health behaviors in adulthood.

Viability of the claims

Based on these claims, it can de deduced that social interactions actually have an impact on the wiring patterns in the teenage years. The article points to a significant potential role of parent-child interactions in brain development and the emergence of maladaptive behaviors in young adulthood. However, it fails to provide an explanation of the neural mechanisms underlying these associations. According to Blakemore (2012) during adolescence and young adulthood the cerebral cortex continues to develop allowing for enhanced judgment,  reasoning, impulse control, and long-term planning.

Although this research demonstrates that parent communication is associated with adolescent diet and alcohol consumption, it is possible that the same-sex parent relationship had a stronger influence on sons than daughters. In addition, while adolescents who have better quality of parent-adolescent communication have been found to report higher overall life satisfaction (Haines et al., 2016), it is possible that improved communication styles may be associated with an increased satisfaction with their communication with their parents, which may be linked to healthier behaviors and outcomes.

This research suggests that the communication between parents and adolescents may be an important determinant of adolescent alcohol use and emotional eating. It does not determine which aspects of the communication are key determinants of behavior in the adolescence stage as well as the specific pathways by which this communication impact the behavior of young adults.

The data that is used to identify the nature of communication was collected in 2001 and therefore may not have been an accurate representation of the parent-child communication when the outcome measures for the analysis were evaluated. Even though the participants in this study reside in the United States, the cohort in this research is not a representative sample of adolescents in the United States. Furthermore, the participants are children of African-American descent, which might lower the generalizability of the study’s findings.


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