, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 373-387

Perceptions of child rearing and self-concept development during the early adolescent years

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In order to investigate the relationship between aspects of child rearing and adolescent self-concept, 130 males and females in grades 7, 8, and 9 completed Schaefer's Children's Report of Parental BehaviorInventory (CRPBI) and Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory. Correlations between the Acceptance/Rejection dimension of the CRPBI and the various self-esteem subscores were positive. Correlations between the self-esteem scores and the Psychological Autonomy/Psychological Control dimension of the CRPBI were negative. The correlations were stronger for perceptions of mothers' as opposed to fathers' child-rearing practices. Analyses of variance indicated that ninth-graders perceived their parents as less accepting than seventhor eighth-graders. High self-esteem adolescents perceived their parents as more accepting, as using less psychological control, and as not being overly firm in making and enforcing rules and regulating the adolescents' behavior. The results support the contention that optimal self-concept development takes place in an atmosphere of acceptance that allows the adolescent autonomy and the opportunity to learn competencies.

This study is based in part on a Master's thesis submitted by the first author to the Graduate School, Syracuse University, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.S. degree.
Department of Psychology, Syracuse University. Major research interests are family influences on the adolescent.
Department of Psychology, Syracuse University. Major research interests are adolescent selfconcept and identity development and sex roles.