Date of Award

1981

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Mercedes H. Dyer

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Conrad A. Reichert

Abstract

Problem. Many developmental psychologists are concerned about how par­ents' child-rearing practices influence adolescents' self-esteem, for self-esteem provides one of the foundations for the development of personality. Is it possible that parents' child-rearing practices contribute to the development of a low self-esteem which in turn influences behavior? This study was conducted to determine the relationship of self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents to the perceived degree of their parents' child-rearing practices.

Method. The study involved 132 delinquent male adolescents who matriculated during the fall semester of 1979 at Starr Commonwealth, Albion, Michigan. The males ranged from 12 to 18 years of age, with 82 whites, 34 blacks, 4 American Indians, 3 Spanish Americans, and 4 others. One hundred six males came from two-parent homes.

Two instruments were used to collect data on the self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents and the perceived degree of their parents' child-rearing practices. The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI) was employed to assess the self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents. The Parent-Child Relations Questionnaire (PCR) was used to investigate the perceived degree of their parents' child-rearing practices.

It was hypothesized that a significant correlation exists between self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents and the perceived degree of their parents' child-rearing practices.

It was also hypothesized that significant multiple correlations exist between ten parent-child relations variables and each of four self-esteem variables.

Zero-order correlations and multiple regression analysis were used to analyze the data.

Results. Among the 132 delinquent male adolescents 95 percent of their fathers were employed while 75 percent of their mothers were home­ makers.

Low self-esteem was found among these delinquent male adolescents. They perceived their fathers' child-rearing practices as demanding, casual, loving, and tending to give symbolic-love rewards.

They perceived their mothers' child-rearing practices to be demanding, loving, and giving of symbolic-love rewards.

A significant correlation exists between social self-esteem of these delinquent male adolescents and the perceived degree of their father's demanding child-rearing practices.

A significant correlation exists between general self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents and the perceived degree of symbolic- love rewards given by their mothers. A significant correlation exists between school self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents and the per­ ceived degree of symbolic-love punishment given by their mothers. A significant correlation exists between social self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents and the perceived degree of their mothers' casual child-rearing practices.

A significant multiple correlation exists between ten parent- child relations (mothers') variables and school self-esteem. Greater self-esteem tends to be related to delinquent male adolescents' perceptions of less demanding, greater symbolic-love reward and symbolic- love punishment child-rearing practices on the part of their mothers.

No significant correlations exist between general self-esteem, school self-esteem, social self-esteem, and home self-esteem of delinquent male adolescents and the perceived degree of their parents' protective, rejecting, neglecting, loving, direct-object reward, and direct-object punishment child-rearing practices. No significant multiple correlations exist between ten parent-child relations variables and general, social, and home self-esteem.

Conclusion. In conclusion, delinquent male adolescents have a lower self­ esteem in relation to the perceived degree of their parents' child- rearing practices. The low self-esteem of these delinquent adolescents are related to a pattern of varied chiId-rearing practices as perceived by these youth of their fathers and mothers: demanding fathers, and casual mothers, fathers whose chiId-rearing practices are both demanding and casual, and casual and loving.

Subject Area

Juvenile delinquency--Michigan

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