Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 13–28 | Cite as

The Role of Youth’s Ratings of the Importance of Socially Supportive Behaviors in the Relationship Between Social Support and Self-Concept

  • Michelle Kilpatrick Demaray
  • Christine Kerres Malecki
  • Sandra Yu Rueger
  • Sarah E. Brown
  • Kelly Hodgson Summers
Empirical Research


The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between the perceived frequency and perceived importance of social support with youth’s self-concept. Data from a large representative sample of 921 children and adolescents in grades 3 through 12 were analyzed. Results indicated that the relationships between the frequency of social support from parents, teachers, classmates, and close friends with self-concept were significant. However, only the perceived importance of social support from teachers was significantly related to self-concept. Finally, an interaction was found between the frequency of social support and the importance of social support from classmates and close friends on self-concept. These results suggest that self-evaluations of the importance of teacher support may be especially influential for youths’ self-concept, and that the ability to discount the value of support from classmates and friends, when it is lacking, may be protective to the self-concept of children and adolescents.


Social support Self-concept Discounting theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Kilpatrick Demaray
    • 1
  • Christine Kerres Malecki
    • 1
  • Sandra Yu Rueger
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Brown
    • 1
  • Kelly Hodgson Summers
    • 1
  1. 1.Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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