Teen Role in Family Decision Making
Teens and parents overwhelmingly agreed on the teens’ primary role in family decision making. Of the 935 study subjects, 635 or 69% of the early adolescents saw themselves as involved in the family decision making process by expressing their opinion about the best solution. Most parents (79%) likewise saw their teens’ role as being that of a participant in the discussion, as well as sometimes objecting to the final decision. These findings parallel the teen findings which held constant over the three years. At the same time, about 20% of the teens and only 11% of the parents indicated the teens’ only involvement in family decision making was after the decision was made, when their family announced what had been decided. For 11-13 year olds, the role of participation in the discussion, and offering ideas for solutions would seem developmentally appropriate behavior. These are hallmarks of individuals whose intellectual growth and development are taking place as manifested through new abstract reasoning and problem solving abilities.