Social norms regarding family life have become ambiguous due to pluralization of ways of living, new demands for high flexibility (e.g., in work life), and change of the values of children. Thus, it is increasingly difficult to make relational decisions (e.g., whether to form a stable partnership, to marry, or to have children) and to decide on when is the best time for those transitions. However, individuals differ in their levels of relational ambivalence that are contradictory feelings, thoughts, and intentions regarding intimate relationships, marriage, and parenthood, and perceived difficulty/inability to make a decision. In the project, a questionnaire is developed that measures relational ambivalence in adolescents and young adults. Based on a theoretical model of predictors of relational ambivalence, correlates of ambivalence will be assessed in a cross-sectional study. As cross-sectional data do not allow testing causal hypotheses, the measure will be later used in a large interdisciplinary panes study for testing hypothesis about development and consequences of relational ambivalence. In a final step, we plan interventions that help to cope with relational ambivalence for people who suffer from their inability to make relational decisions.
This project is part of the DFG-Priority Program 1161 Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (PAIRFAM). More information you can find at the Homepage of the DFG-Priority Program.
Silbereisen, R. K.