Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


Adolescence is a time of transformation for a young girl and her relationships with her parents. One way to conceptualize the evolving dynamics between father and adolescent daughter is to use the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems. The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in relationships between fathers and their premenarchal daughters, girls who have not had their first menstrual period, compared to fathers and postmenarchal daughters, girls who have experienced their first menstrual period. The participants completed three questionnaires. The Demographic questionnaire included general demographic questions in order to learn more about the participants. The Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales II-Modified assessed family cohesion and family adaptability. The Parent-Adolescent Communication Scale-Modified assessed the degree of open family communication and extent of problems in father-daughter communication. The overall hypothesis was that there would be a fundamental difference in fathers’ relationships with their daughters as the girls experience menarche. Specifically, it was believed that fathers and premenarchal daughters would have more balanced relationships compared to fathers and postmenarchal daughters. In addition, the effect of amount of time that fathers spend with their daughters was examined.

It is important to study this father-daughter relationship because this knowledge may help reduce the conflict that can occur during adolescence and may help a father feel more connected to and open with his daughter. Menarchal status only accounted for a significant difference on the Cohesion subscaie between fathers of premenarchal and postmenarcha) daughters. Monarchal status did not account for any significant differences in levels of communication between fathers of premenarchal or postmenarchal daughters. The results also showed the amount of time that fathers spend with their daughters significantly effects balanced relationships, levels of Cohesion and Adaptability, and Open Family Communication. The results suggest that the amount of time that father spend with their daughters may have a stronger effect on the father-daughter relationship than the daughters’ menarchal status. Continued research should focus on an intensive, longitudinal study that incorporates the daughter’s perspective and examines the influence of other biopsychosocial variables of pubertal development on the father- daughter relationship.