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Parents' Experience of Contradictions in the Context of the Parent-child Relationship During Middle Childhood

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Title: Parents' Experience of Contradictions in the Context of the Parent-child Relationship During Middle Childhood
Author: Dawczyk, Anna
Department: Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Program: Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Advisor: Kuczynski, Dr. Leon
Abstract: Parents constantly experience contradictions because children’s development may lead to new or surprising interactions that fail to fit parents’ current ways of thinking about their children. This qualitative study used a dialectical perspective of contradictions from social relational theory to explore how contradictions instigate parental change (Kuczynski & Parkin, 2007; Kuczynski, Pitman, & Mitchell, 2009). Forty families with children aged 8-13 participated in open-ended interviews that were analyzed with thematic analysis. Results revealed that contradictions occurred because of parents’ own incompatible or inconsistent thoughts and/or behaviours, and children’s behaviours. Parents processed and managed contradictions with description, information gathering and reflecting, and acting on contradictions. The nature of the outcome of parents’ contradictions included: outcome not evident, outcome in process, partial strategy or temporary solution and contradiction is resolved. Surprise, sadness, anxiety, stress, and anger were the emotions associated with contradictions. Analyses indicated that parents constantly experience contradictions and few are fully resolved.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3013
Date: 2011-08


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