Relational support and person characteristics in adolescence

Marcel A.G. Van Aken*, Cornelis F.M. Van Lieshout, Ron H.J. Scholte, Susan J.T. Branje

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, an heuristic model of the personality characteristics of adolescents and the supportive dimensions of interactions, relationships and groups is presented. The model takes the concept of developmental tasks as its starting point and it is assumed that developmental tasks can be characterized in terms of four modalities: intentions, behaviour, cognitions and affect. The same four modalities can also be used to characterize dimensions of personality and aspects of interactional and relational support. The results of several empirical studies are presented to illustrate the model. Together, these studies present a transactional picture of the personality of adolescents and their relationships in which personality and relationships influence each other and jointly determine psychosocial functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-833
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


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