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Perceived Functions of Family and Friends During Childhood, Adolescence, and Youth: Developmental Theories of Two Turkish Groups

Hortaçsu, Nuran
Gençöz, Tülin
Oral, Atiye
The present study compared Turkish University students' and middle-aged adults' developmental theories about the perceived importance of needs related to different life tasks and functionality of relationships with parents, same-sex siblings, and friends for need satisfaction during childhood, adolescence, and youth. A retrospective method was used. The following results emerged: (1) the importance of needs related to a search for identity and intimacy increased and the importance of those related to dependency decreased from childhood to adolescence; (2) needs related to intimacy maintained a high level of importance during youth whereas importance of the need for self-understanding/development decreased from adolescence to youth; (3) increases in the perceived importance of friends occurred between childhood and adolescence, especially with respect to needs related to identity and intimacy issues; (4) decreases in the perceived importance of parents were reported between adolescence and youth, especially with respect to needs related to identity, intimacy, and dependency; (5) developmental theories of groups and sexes did not differ; (6) group and sex differences with respect to importance ratings of some needs emerged.