Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 690–700 | Cite as

Quality of Relationship with Parents and Emotional Autonomy as Predictors of Self Concept and Loneliness in Adolescents with Learning Disabilities: The Moderating Role of the Relationship with Teachers

  • Marinella Majorano
  • Margherita Brondino
  • Marika Morelli
  • Marlies Maes
Original Paper


The present study aims to investigate the impact of family-level variables (emotional autonomy and the quality of the parents-adolescent relationship) on socio-emotional adjustment (loneliness and self-esteem) in adolescents with learning disabilities (LDs) and the role of the quality of the teacher-adolescent relationship in moderating the effects of these impacts. The participants are 293 typically developing adolescents (TD group) and 50 adolescents with learning disabilities (LD group), aged between 13 and 20. The following measures were administered: the Emotional Autonomy Scale (EAS), the Loneliness and Aloneness Scale for Children and Adolescents (LACA), the Assessment of Interpersonal Relations (AIR), and the Multidimensional Self Concept Scale (MSCS). The data showed that adolescents with LDs display significantly higher levels of peer-related loneliness, and lower levels of self-concept and perceived quality of relationships with parents and teachers. No significant differences emerged between the groups in emotional autonomy and in parent-related loneliness. Path analysis indicated that, in adolescents with LDs, emotional autonomy was more closely related to self-concept than in typically developing adolescents. A positive teacher-adolescent relationship could have a moderating effect on the relationships between the dimension considered only in the LD group. The findings have important implications for the implementation of intervention programs focused on social and emotional competences in young people with LDs.


Parents-adolescent relationship Loneliness Self-concept Learning disabilities Teacher 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals

The study follows the ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research.

Informed Consent

Each participant, or both parents in the case of individuals under 18 years, have given voluntary informed consent.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human SciencesUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.School Psychology & Child and Adolescent DevelopmentKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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