The demand/withdraw pattern of communication in parent-adolescent dyads

John P. Caughlin, Mary E. Ramey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The current study used both participant reports and outsider ratings of conversations to examine the demand/withdraw pattern in parent-adolescent dyads (N -57). Results indicated that demands by either parents or adolescents were associated positively with the other dyad member's withdrawal. Overall, parent-demand/adolescent-withdraw was more prevalent than adolescent-demand/parent-withdraw; however, parent-demand/adolescent-withdraw was significantly lower during discussions of adolescents' issues than during discussions of parents' issues. There were few differences based on the sex of the parent or the child, but parent-demand/adolescent-withdraw during discussion of parents' issues was higher in dyads with mothers than in dyads with fathers. The discussion focuses on the implications for understanding demand/withdraw communication and on the utility of examining demand/withdraw in parent-adolescent relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-355
Number of pages19
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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