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Families; Power (Social sciences); Autonomy; College students--Psychology; College students--Social conditions


The relation of family power structure and autonomy to the behavior of a postadolescent group was investigated. The sample consisted of 26 boys and 8 girls aged 18 to 20 years. Autonomy was measured by responses to questions on the dispensing of funds, integration into family activities, emotional attachment to parents and rejection of parental authority. Power was assessed with the Osgood Semantic Differential Scales. Data was analyzed according to sex and child's perception of like-sexed parent's power. Boys that rejected parental authority saw selves as more powerful than fathers. Irrespective of power relations with mother, girls did not reject parental authority and consistently perceived father as more powerful than self.

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