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Title: Peace, Not War: Adolescents' Management of Intergenerational Conflicts in Taiwan
Authors: Kuan, Ping-Yin
Keywords: Adolescent
Interpersonal Conflicts
Conflict Management
Date: 2004-12
Issue Date: 2009-04-03 15:36:00 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This paper examines factors affecting conflict management behaviors of adolescents in Taiwan. The theoretical approach combines sociological approach with perspectives from developmental psychology. The sociological approach classifies conflict management strategies into three forms--unilateral, bilateral, and trilateral, and argues that social relationship variables, such as relational distance and social status difference from the disputant, affect adolescents’ choices of conflict management strategy. The developmental approach, on the other hand, focuses on the impact of biological and psychological factors on conflict management behaviors.

A research model organizing insights from these two theoretical perspectives is proposed to explain the adoption of non-confrontational means of conflict management, in bilateral and trilateral forms, in situations of intergenerational conflict. The model is tested by survey data from 1,808 middle and high school students in Taiwan. Major findings are: (1) Adolescents most frequently employ a unilateral form and non-confrontational means, such as inaction or avoidance, in handling disputes. Relational distance and status difference are found to affect the choice of conflict management strategy. (2) Adolescent’s own social status at school is more important than family socioeconomic status in explaining conflict management behaviors. (3) Having close relationships with parents or teachers promotes the adoption of negotiation and mediation. (4) In conflicts with a parent, adolescent males tend to use direct negotiation as the conflict management strategy. (5) While father’s strict monitoring practices promote prosocial strategies of conflict management, parents’ and teachers’ harsh practices inhibit the adoption of prosocial strategies.
Relation: Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 35, 591-614
Data Type: article
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