Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Parental Bonding, Peer Attachment and Psychological Well-Being among Adolescents: A Mediation Analysis

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Parental Bonding, Peer Attachment and Psychological Well-Being among Adolescents: A Mediation Analysis

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Adolescence is considered an important transition period, because of the cognitive, biological, and social changes that occur during this time period (Elliot & Feldman, 1990). The psychological impact of this transition on adolescence may vary across individuals. According to psychosocial development theory, adolescence is a period when an individual strives to develop a sense of self and personal identity by exploring their independence. It is a period which leaves its mark on the individual's behavior, as they feel unsure of themselves and insecure in their status and hence naturally sometimes become aggressive, self-conscious and withdrawn (Hiremath, Hunshal & Gaonkar, 2008). Those who receive proper encouragement and reinforcement through personal exploration will receive a strong sense of self and a feeling of independence and control. Bowlby (1988) argued that a person's degree of vulnerability to stressors is influenced by the current state of his/her intimate relationships.

During adolescence, parent-adolescent conflict tends to increase, particularly between adolescent girls and their mothers. This conflict appears to be a necessary part of gaining independence from parents while learning new ways of staying connected to them (Steinberg, 2001). Empirical studies have repeatedly emphasized the significant role of parent's relationship with their children for normal development. McFarlane, Bellissimo & Norman (1995) found that style of parenting to be the main determinant of the well-being of adolescents. It is also found that family bonding and parental support to be negatively related to substance abuse among adolescents (Anderson & Henry, 1994). Adolescents with optimal bonding reported less psychiatric symptoms and distress, thus having a positive feeling of well-being. However, affectionless control gave rise to psychological symptomatology and a lesser feeling of well-being. Affectionless control increases the risk for suicidal thoughts, deliberate self-harm and depression of adolescents (Canetti et al., 1997). Families today can take many forms-single parent, shared custody, adoptive, blended, foster, traditional dual parent, to name a few. Regardless of family form, a strong sense of bonding, closeness, and attachment to family have been found to be associated with better emotional development, better school performance, and engagement in fewer high-risk activities, such as drug use (Resnick et al., 1997; Klein, 1997; Perry, 2000).

One of the most obvious changes in adolescence is that the focus around which the adolescent's world revolves shifts from the family to the peer group. It is important to note that this decreased frequency of contact with family does not mean that family closeness has assumed less importance for the adolescent (O'Koon, 1997). Adolescents tend to spend most of their time with peers. Armsden and Greenberg (1987) found that perceived quality of both parent and peer attachments were significantly related to psychological well-being of adolescence. Adolescents with strong and secure relationship to both parents and peers reported best overall adjustment (Laible, Carlot & Raffaelli, 2000). Peer groups serve a number of important functions throughout adolescence, providing a temporary reference point for a developing sense of identity. Through identification with peers, adolescents begin to develop moral judgment and values (Bishop & Inderbitzen, 1995) and to define how they differ from their parents (Micucci, 1998).

Self-esteem develops uniquely for each adolescent, and there are many different trajectories of self-esteem possible over the course of adolescence. (Zimmerman, Copeland, Shope, & Dielman, 1997). It is the evaluation of one's own self. Self-esteem is thought to be one of the central factors affecting psychological well-being and social functioning, and the connections between individuals' self-esteem and their thoughts, feelings, and actions have been extensively studied. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.