Mothers' experience of communicating with their young adolescent daughters

Date of Completion

January 2003


Health Sciences, Nursing




The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of communication between mothers and their young adolescent daughters from the mother's perspective. This was a descriptive qualitative study influenced by phenomenology. Data collection consisted of one-on-one guided interviews with nine participants. Colaizzi's method of phenomenological analysis influenced the methodology of this study. Participants of this study were required to be mothers of young adolescent daughters between 11 and 13 years of age, and in the 6th through 8th grade in school. There were no age restrictions on the mothers in this study. Each interview began with this research statement. ^ “Please describe for me your experience of communicating with your young adolescent daughter. Describe for me your thoughts, feelings, perceptions surrounding this experience until you feel that you have nothing left to discuss about it.” Data were collected until saturation was reached. Data were grouped into six reoccurring themes. The six themes emerging from this study were: (1) Timing is everything; (2) Walking on eggs…it's not always easy; (3) When it works, it works; (4) Listening to the sounds of silence; (5) The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; (6) Change…can a leopard change its spots? By enhancing family communication, and in particular mother-young adolescent daughter communication, health care providers can assist families to achieve a smooth transition through this difficult period of development. Existing research attempts to adequately cover the trials and tribulations of adolescence, but mother-young adolescent communication is not sufficiently addressed. Findings from this study demonstrate the richness of data in this area and indicate a need for further exploration. Nursing research would benefit from the insight that emerges from family communication and family relationship studies, and in particular studies involving young adolescents. ^