, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 367-385

Self-criticism at age 12: A longitudinal study of adjustment

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This study employed a prospective longitudinal design to investigate the relation between self-criticism at age 12 and later adjustment. Archival data were available for subjects in the Sears, Maccoby, and Levin (1957) study. Self-criticism at age 12 predicted involvement in fewer high school activities and, at age 31, fewer years of education completed, lower occupational status in men, dissatisfaction with primary relationship (p=.10), dissatisfaction with being a parent, and personal/social maladjustment. However, self-critics were not less likely to marry nor did they marry later or have fewer children. The results were largely consistent with Blatt's lifespan development perspective on self-criticism. Possible processes linking self-criticism in early adolescence to later life outcomes are discussed.

This research used thePatterns of Child Rearing, 1951–1952 data set (made accessible in 1979, raw and machine-readable data files). These data were collected by R. Sears, E. Maccoby, and H. Levin and are available through the archive of the Henry A. Murray Research Center of Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA. This research was funded by grants from the Fonds Pour La Formation De Chercheurs et L'Aide à La Recherche (FCAR-Quebec) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.