The role of family functioning in the decision-making styles of adolescents in the Overberg area
Adolescence has been regarded as a particularly important stage for the continued development of young adults as they start to make their own life’s decisions and engage in a variety of activities that will influence the rest of their lives. One of the important goals of adolescence is the development of decision-making skills as independence increases, requiring more independent decisions. When an adolescent makes decisions, it is important that s/he has the skills to make confident ones. Various studies identify factors that could affect adolescent decision-making, such as the family environment and family-member relationships, but information pertaining to this subject is still relatively limited. This study examines the role of family functioning in the decision-making styles of adolescents. The theoretical framework used for this study is based on the Family Systems Theory, of which the McMaster Model of Family Functioning (MMFF) is a component. The MMFF is one variation that underlies the family system model, be it nuclear or extended families discussed within chapter 2. A quantitative methodological approach was employed in this study with a cross-sectional correlational research design. The sample consisted of 457 Grade 9 learners from schools in the Overberg area. The data was collected using a self-reported questionnaire that included the Demographic Information, the Family Assessment Device and the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire, as part of the quantitative methodology. The data was then analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences V22 (SPSS). The results were provided using descriptive and inferential statistics. Participation in this study was voluntary after being well informed, while confidentiality and anonymity was maintained throughout the study. The main results for family functioning indicated the assumption that the participants might have ineffective functioning on all the family functioning variables. The main results for decision-making styles showed an assumption that the vigilant decision-making style was the highest and the Buck-passing decision-making style, the lowest.