Date of Award:

1993

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Brent C. Miller

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Jay D. Schvaneveldt

Abstract

Data from the National Survey of Children were used to study the relationships between children's perceptions of parental support and control and measures of self-esteem and behavior problems over time. Data were collected in 1976 , when the children were aged 7-11; 1981, when the children were in their early to mid teens (age 12 to 16); and 1987, when the children were in their late teens and early 20s (age 17 to 22). Parenting measures , based on children's reports, were developed for each wave from items included in the data; constructed variables measuring self -esteem and internal and external expressions of behavior problems were also comprised of individual items drawn from each wave of data. Preliminary analyses showed that parental support was positively correlated to children's self-esteem and negatively related to behavior problems. Although the parental control measures had little effect on the outcome variables , the effect that was present showed that parental coerciveness, rejection, and permissiveness were negatively correlated with children's self-esteem, while being positively associated with both internal and external behavior problems. The preliminary results also showed that the parental effects of mothers and fathers differed for daughters and sons. LISREL analyses were done in an effort to more fully investigate the interactive effects between the constructed variables of interest. Generally, the measures were related as expected , although the relationships were not as strong as anticipated. Of the parenting measures, parental support showed the strongest effects on child outcomes; parental control measures had very little effect on children's self-esteem or behavior problems . In 1987, parenting style had virtually no effect on youths' self-esteem or on behavior problems. For this wave, self-esteem was the strongest predictor of behavior problems in young adults.