Parent-Adolescent Interaction in Iranian Adolescents Born Since 2001: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: The parent-adolescent communication is an essential element in transitioning the adolescent to adulthood. This study aimed to illustrate a new ongoing parent-adolescent structure that is happening in Iran, and examines changes in family patterns.
Method: A qualitative thematic analysis was performed on data collected from 24 interviews with adolescents, and their parents in 2021. The samples were recruited through purposeful sampling. This study was conducted within nine months. The interviewees were four boys and eight girls (M=17) and one of their parents, whether their mother or father. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. The method of data analysis was the Colaizzi descriptive method.
Results: Thematic analysis revealed a new interaction pattern that did not exist in the previous generation. There were four main themes in parental patterns namely; adaptive pattern, influenced-pattern, democratic pattern, expertise-centric pattern, and also nine sub-themes. In adolescence, the only pattern was the democratic pattern with four sub-themes, which leads to new expectations from adolescents, like having an equal power hierarchy.
Conclusion: Conversely, to what has been thought, parents have a significant and distinct role in parent-adolescent interaction changes. A large part of this was due to their bad memories or deprivation of good parenting when they were a child. These results can be used for planning macro-political, and socio-economic policies concerning future parent-adolescent interaction trends.


  1. Lippold MA, Coffman DL, Greenberg MT. Investigating the potential causal relationship between parental knowledge and youth risky behavior: A propensity score analysis. Prevention Science. 2014; 15: 869-78.
  2. Racz SJ, McMahon RJ. The relationship between parental knowledge and monitoring and child and adolescent conduct problems: A 10-year update. Clinical child and family psychology review. 2011; 14(4): 377-98.
  3. Smetana JG, Campione-Barr N, Metzger A. Adolescent development in interpersonal and societal contexts. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2006; 57: 255-84. h.57.102904.190124.
  4. Steinberg L. Cognitive and affective development in adolescence. Trends in cognitive sciences. 2005; 9(2): 69-74.
  5. Keijsers L, Poulin F. Developmental changes in parent–child communication throughout adolescence. Developmental psychology. 2013; 49(12): 2301-08.
  6. Carnes-Holt K. Child–parent relationship therapy for adoptive families. The Family Journal. 2012; 20(4): 419-26.
  7. Lim Y. Self-esteem as a mediator in the longitudinal relationship between dysfunctional parenting and peer attachment in early adolescence. Children and youth services review. 2020; 116(20): 1-10.
  8. Morris AS, Criss MM, Silk JS, Houltberg BJ. The impact of parenting on emotion regulation during childhood and adolescence. Child Development Perspectives. 2017; 11(4): 233-8.
  9. Schwartz OS, Sheeber LB, Dudgeon P, Allen NB. Emotion socialization within the family environment and adolescent depression. Clinical psychology review. 2012; 32(6): 447-53.
  10. Park IT, Oh WO, Lee A. Changes in the reciprocal relationship between parenting and self-awareness during adolescence: A longitudinal analysis of national big data. Journal of pediatric nursing. 2019; 47: 51-7.
  11. Itahashi T, Okada N, Ando S, Yamasaki S, Koshiyama D, Morita K, Yahata N, Koike S, Nishida A, Kasai K, Hashimoto RI. Functional connectomes linking child-parent relationships with psychological problems in adolescence. Neuroimage. 2020; 219(20): 117013-27.
  12. Belsky J, De Haan M. Annual research review: Parenting and children’s brain development: The end of the beginning. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2011; 52(4): 409-28.
  13. Abesha AG. Effects of parenting styles, academic self-efficacy, and achievement motivation on the academic achievement of university students in Ethiopia. Ph.D. Dissertation, Edith Cowan University: Ethiopia. 2012.
  14. Hosseinkhanzadeh AA, Taher M, Seyednuri SZ, Yahyazadeh A, Esapour M. Relationship between interaction parent-child with addictability rate and heterosexual orientation in students. Scientific Quarterly Research on Addiction. 2014; 7(28): 59-74.
  15. Pellerone M, Spinelloa C, Sidoti A, Micciche S. Identity, perception of parent-adolescent relation and adjustment in a group of university students. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2015; 190(15): 459-64.
  16. Enns M, Cox BJ, Clara I. Parental bonding and adult psychopathology: results from the US National Comorbidity Survey. Psychological medicine. 2002; 32(6): 997-1008.
  17. Boniel-Nissim M, Tabak I, Mazur J, Borraccino A, Brooks F, Gommans R, van der Sluijs W, Zsiros E, Craig W, Harel-Fisch Y, Finne E. Supportive communication with parents moderates the negative effects of electronic media use on life satisfaction during adolescence. International journal of public health. 2015; 60: 189-98.
  18. Lam CB, McHale SM, Crouter AC. Parent–child shared time from middle childhood to late adolescence: Developmental course and adjustment correlates. Child development. 2012; 83(6): 2089-103.
  19. Aghajanian A, Thompson V. Recent divorce trend in Iran. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. 2013; 54(2): 112-25.
  20. Ahmadi F. The effect of modernity on the family. Two-quarter specialized journal of Islamic studies of gender and family. 2018; 1(1): 7-19.
  21. Giddens, A. (2007). The consequences of modernity. 1990.
  22. Singerman D, Ibrahim B. The cost of marriage in Egypt: A hidden variable in the new Arab demography. Cairo papers in social science. 2003; 24(1/2): 80-166.
  23. Pardini DA. Novel insights into longstanding theories of bidirectional parent–child influences: Introduction to the special section. Journal of abnormal child psychology. 2008; 36(5): 627-31.
  24. Serbin LA, Kingdon D, Ruttle PL, Stack DM. The impact of children's internalizing and externalizing problems on parenting: Transactional processes and reciprocal change over time. Development and psychopathology. 2015; 27(4): 969-86.
  25. Ghaderi F. Iran and postcolonial studies: Its development and current status. Interventions. 2018; 20(4): 455-69.
  26. Mohammadi-Nasab H, Mozaheri Tehrani MA,; Rezaizadeh, M, Heydari M. The needs of adolescents in parent-child relationship, a qualitative study. Journal of Educational Psychology Studies. 2021; 18(42): 63-80.
  27. Steinberg, L. (2001). We know some things: Parent–adolescent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Journal of research on adolescence11(1), 1-19.