Author

Sara M. Hunt

Date of Award:

2005

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Renee V. Galliher

Abstract

This study tested a mediation model by which daughters ' perceptions of poorer parent-adolescent relationship quality were expected to be directly associated with the individual psychological characteristics of low self-esteem and internalizing symptoms. In turn, individual psychological characteristics were hypothesized to predict self-defeating behavior, defined as deliberate self-harm and suicidal gestures, multiple sexual partners, and substance use. Additionally, the association between parent-adolescent relationship variables and self-defeating behaviors was posited to be largely indirect and mediated by symptoms of psychological distress . As predicted, perceived alienation from parents was directly associated with poor adolescent psychological functioning. Furthermore , individual psychological variables were found to partially mediate between parent alienation and deliberate self-harm /suicidal gestures. Full mediation was observed between mother alienation and risky sexual behaviors but not for fathers. No mediation effects were found between both mother and father alienation and daughters' reported substance use. Research and clinical implications are also discussed.

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Psychology Commons

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