, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 661-678

A Prospective Study of Adolescents' Peer Support: Gender Differences and the Influence of Parental Relationships

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This longitudinal study investigates parent and child predictors of adolescents' perceived social support from peers. Adolescents (285) and their parents filled out surveys when students were 11 and 15 years of age. Parent reports of their own social support and child reports of parental support to them, depression, and self-esteem were used as predictors of adolescents' peer social support. Path analyses revealed functional dissimilarity in the predictive model, for boys and girls. For boys and girls, the amount of spousal support parents' reported impacted the amount of parent to child support that children reported. For boys, this relationship impacted their perceptions of peer support indirectly through depression. However, for girls, parents' own supportive relationships directly impacted both their self-esteem and depression, above and beyond parent to child support, which then impacted girls' peer social support.