Listening to the voices of adolescence : descriptions of significant adults and their qualities which aided in the transition into adolescence

Susie Lang-Gould
Adolescence has been described as a tumultuous transition where problems heighten and self-esteem plummets. One positive relationship in an adolescent's life can decrease the chances of severe problems and, in some cases, enhance this transition. A qualitative study explored the nature and qualities of significant relationships with adults during the transition into adolescence. This author applied Gilligan and Arvay's "Listening and Reading Guide" to uncover stories and themes surrounding six
more » ... elationships with adults. The adolescents were selected through the use of an advertisement displayed in various community centers in Vancouver and by word of mouth. Unstructured interviews with open-ended questions were used to discover adolescents' perspective on relational experiences with adults and qualities of significant adults. All adolescents spoke about the meaningful and positive effect these adults had in their lives. They clearly defined eight important qualities in adults that made a difference: Open Communication, Messages about Feeling Special, Sense of Belonging, Involvement in Important Activities, Connection, Role Model, Challenges and Family Foundation. Listening to the voices of these adolescents provided valuable information for teachers, counsellors and parents concerned with enhancing this transition and establishing more effective support.
doi:10.14288/1.0053882 fatcat:2zpabmrxpvbv3hjkv445mxnppq