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Title in English: All my loved ones. Adolescents and adults around them
Adolescence is an important transitional period during which young people expand their relationship networks. Adolescents make more friends than in all the preceding developmental stages. They also begin to enter into romantic relationships, which is new uncharted territory for them. This developmental task is very important for them, and it is one that needs to be successfully tackled. It is, however, obvious that this task challenges adolescents with a myriad of problems and risks, and not everyone easily manages this stage of life well. Dynamic changes in adolescents’ social networks have to be observed holistically. Adolescents’ relationships with adults and peers, their influence on each other and how they organise themselves into new networks and systems need to be examined closely. Adolescence is also an important period for the development of mental resilience, well-being, and of the capability to positively experience things or, simply put, of emotional happiness. We are trying to understand how adolescents’ social relationships expand and change during this crucial period, and how their relationships are potentially linked to emotional happiness. The aim of the longitudinal project The development of adolescent relationships: Using an attachment theory perspective, a dynamic systems approach, and a time-series method, the results of which form the most substantial part of this book, was to comprehend how adolescents’ social relationships change in their teen years, and how relationships, their forms and quality relate to young peoples’ feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Along with the main objective, which was to follow the changes in the hierarchy of attachment figures for 11 and 18 year-old adolescents, we also attempted to identify other important factors in families with adolescents which affect their mental adaptation and development. This monograph describes the changes occurring in adolescence in the organisation of persons close to adolescents. Theoretical concepts and history of the approaches to social relationships in adolescence are described in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 is devoted to adolescents’ close relationships and their organisation as seen through the perspective of attachment theory. Chapter 3 analyses how adolescents perceive interparental conflict and Chapter 4 concerns parental cooperation in upbringing. We were also interested in the consequences of an adolescent prematurely taking over an adult role in the family, which we addressed in Chapter 5. The final chapter, 6 of the monograph focuses on adolescents’ relationships with their teachers and tries to find out whether a teacher can be an attachment figure for adolescents. The book summarises the results previously published in journals, and presents currently unpublished findings from our project’s data.