Little attention has been paid to how early adolescents make attributions for their fathers' behavior. Guided by symbolic interaction theory, we examined how adolescent gender, ethnicity, family structure, and depressive symptoms explained attributions for residential father behavior. A total of 382 adolescents, grouped by ethnicity (European American, Mexican American) and family structure (intact, stepfamilies), reported attributions for their fathers' positive and negative behaviors. Results indicated that for positive events, girls made significantly more stable attributions, whereas boys made more unstable attributions. Mexican American adolescents tended to make more unstable attributions for positive events than European Americans, and adolescents from intact families made more stable attributions for positive events than adolescents from stepfamilies. Implications are discussed for the role of attributions in father-adolescent relationships as prime for intervention in families.
- depressive symptoms
- family relations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)