Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Katharine Hill


Social Work


The unique relationship between parent and adolescent requires clinical attention as a means of promoting positive mental, emotional, and behavioral outcomes for adolescents. The dynamic identity and growing presence of the Mexican American male adolescent in American society add multiple layers to this already complex relationship. The purpose of this project was to explore features and definitions of closeness and care in parent-adolescent dyads to understand how Mexican American male adolescents build positive relationships with their resident parents. In this secondary data analysis, features of closeness and care were drawn from Wave I, Stage 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a longitudinal study following a nationally representative sample of adolescents from 1994 to 2008. Data were analyzed using SPSS software. The findings indicated similar features of closeness and care in relationships with both resident parents. Features associated with communication and warmth or emotional support corresponded most significantly with higher levels of closeness and care. These trends offer a foundation for fostering positive relationships between Mexican American male adolescents and the formative adult figures in their lives. Likewise, these results present important information about the process of developing a therapeutic alliance with this client population. In moving forward, this study points to the need for a more culturally specific, modernized, and qualitative investigation of these definitions and the implications of parental and adolescent gender.

Included in

Social Work Commons