The intergenerational transmission of self-esteem in adolescence: gender-birth order-specific pathways and parenting as a mediator

Published: Νοε 18, 2022
Intergenerational transmission self-esteem adolescence parenting gender birth order
Eirini-Spyridoula Mastellou
Spyridon Tantaros

There is considerable evidence on the enduring impact on adolescent’s self-esteem by parental behavior; however, the Intergenerational Transmission of self-esteem is still an open field of research. This paper aims to investigate the Intergenerational Transmission of self-esteem between mothers and their adolescent offspring with the possible moderating role of adolescent’s gender and birth order as well as the mediating role of mother’s report on her parenting behavior and the adolescent’s perceived parenting by their mother. Two hundred and one dyads of mothers and their 14-year-old adolescent offspring participated. All participants filled-in via e-forms the “Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale”, the “Parental Behavior Questionnaire” and the “Connectedness Scale”. In respect to self-esteem, the results indicated age, gender and birth order differences as well as a significant interaction effect between these variables. The hypothesis of Intergenerational Transmission, with mother’s self-esteem impacting significantly on the self-esteem of their offspring was confirmed. A gender specific and a gender-birth order specific Intergenerational Transmission mechanism was found, as mothers seemed to influence their daughter’s self-esteem (especially the first-born) in a greater degree. Furthermore, perceived parenting by adolescent’s report (and not by mother’s report) played a mediating role, explaining partly the Intergenerational Transmission of self-esteem.

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