Patterns of Family Identifications in Adolescents from Different Backgrounds


This exploratory study aims to examine the family identification patterns obtained with the Family Identification Test (FIT) in 1082 adolescents, by subgroups from different backgrounds including subgroup of outpatient treatment for mental disorders (clinical group, CG), and subgroups of students from regions with low and high human development index: public school group (PG), and private school group (PrG), in order to explore discriminant properties of the instrument and its utility to monitor mental health outcomes in adolescents. The FIT allows one to describe different self-concepts (self-congruence, actual and ideal self-image), and the perception of others (father’s image, mother’s image, etc.) by using twelve attributes related to three common personality dimensions (extraversion, neuroticism and agreeableness). The correlation between those concepts indicates the patterns of identification. Statistical analyzes were performed to test the hypothesis that there would be one or more differences of means between the groups and the results of the FIT. A statistically significant effect was obtained with MANOVA followed by a series of ANOVAs that indicated differences in family identification patterns. The adolescents from PrG showed higher means than adolescents from PG in auto-congruence, actual and ideal identification with the father and ideal identification with grandparent variables; and also showed differences with the CG in actual and ideal identification with the father. The results differentiated adolescents from different backgrounds. Adolescents from clinical and public schools groups reported a smaller desire to look like their fathers, which might have some clinical significance like lower cohesion or family attachment or more pronounced feelings of rejection with father figure. Future studies are needed to analyze these findings over time and in representative population samples.

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Rodrigues, S. , Pedroso, J. , Pontes, F. , Käppler, C. and Bucher-Maluschke, J. (2015) Patterns of Family Identifications in Adolescents from Different Backgrounds. Psychology, 6, 1516-1530. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.612148.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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