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Self-Esteem among High-School Adolescents and College Students: The Role of Parental and Peer Attachment, Empathy and Psychological Adjustment Variables

Fatih Bayraktar, Melike Sayıl, Asiye Kumru
2009; 24(63):48-63

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The effects of parental and peer attachment on self esteem via empathic concern and social behaviors was a relatively new subject to study. Laible, Carlo and Roesch (2006) proposed a model depending on the associations between parental and peer attachment, positive/negative social behaviors, empathy, and self-esteem, and tested the model on American male and female adolescents from various ethnic origins. The main aim of the study was examining the relationships within this model in a sample of Turkish adolescents. The participants were 438 adolescents from high school (104 males, 100 females) and university samples (83 males, 151 females) in Ankara. Self-Perception Profile (Adolescent and College Student forms), Interpersonal Reactivity Index, Parental and Peer Attachment Scale, Prosocial and Aggressive Behaviors Scale, Prosocial Tendencies Measure, and Aggression Scale were administered to the participants during class periods. Structural Equation Modeling analyses revealed that the paths in the high school male and female models were quite similar. The main difference between the models was the direct effect of parental and peer attachment on self-esteem among males, and lack of the peer attachment-self esteem association among females. Moreover, empathy and aggression mediated the relation between parental attachment and self esteem in girls. The male and female models didn’t differ in University sample; hence a general model was tested. When compared with the model of the high school adolescents, the main difference of this model was the association between parental and peer attachment. In addition, the mediator role of empathy and prosocial behaviors were found between peer attachment and self esteem. These results were discussed within the findings in the literature by comparing the results of the original study.

Keywords: Self esteem, empathy, prosocial behaviors, aggression, structural equation modeling