Family Values and Relationships in Adolescence

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  • 0:01 Adolescence
  • 1:00 Family Values
  • 2:54 Relationships
  • 4:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

During adolescence, teens begin to figure out who they are and what their beliefs are. In this lesson, we'll look at how family values and relationships with family members can influence adolescents' individual values and development.


Clara is 15, and lately she's been wondering if the way she's always viewed the world is right. As a kid, she always trusted that the things her parents told her were right, like that small towns were better than big cities or that getting married and having kids is something everyone should do.

But lately, Clara has wondered if she agrees with her parents' ideas. She's started thinking about how much fun it would be to move into a big city, and she's wondering if she wants to get married and have kids, or if she'd be happier as a single, career woman.

Clara is in adolescence, or the time of life between childhood and adulthood, usually between ages 13 and 20. During this time, teens often begin to explore who they are and what the world means to them. Let's look at the way a family can influence an adolescent's teen years, including family values and family relationships.

Family Values

Clara isn't sure whether the things that her parents believe are also the things that she believes. For example, her parents think that living in a small town is better than living in a big city, but Clara feels like a city girl and really wants to move to a big metropolis.

Does that mean that her parents are wrong? No, it just means that their values, or belief in what is important, are different from Clara's.

Before adolescence, most children do not question their parents' values. When a family agrees on a set of values, they are called shared values because everyone in the family shares them. For example, as a child, Clara shared the small-town values of her parents. All three of them, plus Clara's brother, Matt, shared those same values.

But as teens enter adolescence, they begin to question the values that they've been presented. This can lead to non-shared values, or when family members disagree on values, and therefore the entire family does not share the same values. Clara is a good example of this. As an adolescent, she's decided that urban living is better than small-town life for her.

Adolescence is a time of self-discovery, and a big part of this is figuring out what values an individual holds. Clara, like most teens, is discovering that all of her values are not shared values, and that's okay.

However, like most adolescents, Clara has also discovered that some of her values are non-shared and some are shared. For example, her parents always told Clara that it was very important to volunteer your time to help out people who are needy. That's a value that Clara continues to share with her parents, even as she figures out what values she doesn't share with them.

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