Towards a Concept of Parental Authority in Adolescence

  • Metka Kuhar
  • Herwig Reiter
Keywords: Parental authority, Control, Power, Recognition, Parentchild relationship, Adolescence


The notion of authority is common in the literature on parent-child relationships. However, the notion of ‘parental authority’ remains largely unspecified. The present article first critically reviews conceptualisations of parental authority in selected developmental-psychological approaches. We find the absence of an explicit and integrated theoretical and empirical conceptualisation of parental authority, as well as a certain lack of consistency in the application of the concept. Against the background of this review, we suggest initial steps towards a concept of parental authority as relational, dynamic and co-constituted in the sense of a joint product and outcome of family relationships.


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