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Parental Behavior and Adolescent Self-Esteem
Viktor Gecas and Michael L. Schwalbe
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Feb., 1986), pp. 37-46
Published by: National Council on Family Relations
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352226
Page Count: 10
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In this study we examine the relationship between parental behavior as reported by parents, children's perceptions of parental behavior, and the effects of each on various aspects of children's self-evaluations—specifically, self-worth, self-efficacy, and general self-esteem. The study is based on a sample of 128 families, each consisting of a mother, a father, and a child in late adolescence (17 to 19 years of age). We found little correspondence between parents' reports of their behavior (on measures of control/autonomy, support, and participation) and children's perceptions of this behavior. Furthermore, children's self-evaluations were much more strongly related to their perceptions of parental behavior than to parents' self-reported behavior. Boys' self-esteem was found to be more sensitive to the control/autonomy aspect of parental behavior; girls' self-esteem was more strongly affected by parental support and participation. In general, perceptions of paternal behavior were somewhat more consequential for adolescent self-esteem than were perceptions of maternal behavior, and surprisingly, these parent-child interaction variables were found to be more strongly related to boys' self-esteem than to girls' self-esteem. These findings tend to support the symbolic interactionist perspective on the development of self-concept.
Journal of Marriage and Family © 1986 National Council on Family Relations