Summary. This paper deals with the everyday life of a sample of adolescents (14-16 years old) living in Emilia-Romagna. Everyday life is a vague and problematic notion little inquired in psychology. This research has been carried out in two phases. The first describes a week of the lives of 93 adolescents using qualitative methods: an adapted version of the Time Sampling Diary (Brandstätter, 1977) and three focus groups with 11 subjects of the same sample. Places, activities, relationships and emotions are described. The second phase, carried out with quantitative methods, analyses the everyday family life of 487 adolescents. Our hypothesis is that "everyday" is a structure of stability (scaffolding) organised by routines, rules and rituals: when this structure supports communication and relations between family members, it functions as protective factor of the self esteem of adolescents. The hypothesis has been confirmed using a LISREL analysis.