Adolescents strive for freedom and autonomy; thus, communication with their parents needs to be enhanced. Building solid healthy relationships at this stage of their lives is of utmost importance to help them cope with the changes and challenges they are experiencing. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the parent-adolescent relationship in the substance dependency field. The focus is on the relationship between parents and their adolescents who have a substance use disorder. Parenting adolescents poses its own set of challenges, making it difficult to build and maintain healthy parent-adolescent relationships. We argue that although adolescent substance use disorder has been extensively researched, the relationship between parents and adolescents with substance use disorder has surprisingly not received the same attention. It is this gap that this chapter seeks to address. With this in mind, the ecological systems theory was employed here to shed light on the importance and significance of developing healthy parent-adolescent relationships. The findings show that the parent-adolescent relationship primarily informs the daily living of both the parents and the adolescents. The parent-adolescent relationship is therefore very important as it represents whole-family functioning.
Part of the book: Parenting