Parent-Daughter Relationships in Early Adolescence: A Developmental Perspective: J. Brooks-Gunn and Marta Zahaykevich
Certain critical points in the life phase are believed to presage an increase in behavioral changes. Specifically, critical life events or transitional life phases are defined as those in which important and fairly universal life events occur; they are thought to be characterized by family and peer system alterations, selfdefinitional changes, reorganization of impulse and ego control, and enhancement of different social cognitive processes. Entry into school, puberty, exit from school, pregnancy, parenthood-all may result in an active construction or reconstruction of self-definitions (Connell & Furman, 1984; Deutsch, Ruble, Fleming, Brooks-Gunn, & Stangor, 1988; Ruble, 1983, Ruble & Brooks-Gunn, 1987). Based on the assumption that individuals modify self-definitions to fit changing circumstances of important life events, characteristics of the self may be evaluated in terms of new norms, or anticipated changes in behaviors appropriate for new roles. It is assumed that individuals actively anticipate and construct their experiences, engaging in cognitive and affective processes including seeking and processing information on which self-definitional change might be based (see Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, for a similar argument about coping with anticipated or actual life changes).