Rural parents' messages to their adolescent sons and daughters to leave their home communities


The perceptions of 354 seventh and eleventh graders regarding the frequency and nature of their rural parents' messages to them and their closest-in-age sibling to leave their home communities after high school were explored. Survey data showed that almost half (54%) perceived that their parents encouraged them and/or their closest-in-age sibling to leave the area and about 19% of that group reported that their parents' messages to leave were inconsistent between them and their closest sibling. Parents' messages did not differ by youths' sex or age. Consistency of parents' messages between siblings was associated with youths' well-being, family relationship experiences, and future residential preferences. Semi-structured interviews with a subsample of seventh graders and their mothers highlighted parents' and youths' perspectives on parents' messages. This work highlights the familial processes associated with youth future planning and extends the current work on parents' differential treatment of siblings.

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Journal of Adolescence



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Copyright © 2013 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.