Got One Another’s Backs: Mother-Teen Relationships in Families Escaping Intimate Partner Violence


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This Life Story study gained a comprehensive picture of experiences of young adolescents (ages 12–14) accompanying mothers in emergency domestic violence shelters. A holistic, chronological approach in interviews with an ethnically diverse sample of youth and their mothers (N = 27) yielded insights into perspectives on relationships. This article focuses on the complex thematic finding “interconnected family boundaries,” a central dynamic in mother-youth relationships characterized by emotional closeness, highly cohesive boundaries, and interdependence in problem solving regarding family issues. Participants identified this dynamic as essential for adaptation yet entailing losses. Discussion considers theoretical triangulation and implications for research, intervention, and practitioner education.

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