The Effects of Parental Relationship and Parent-Child Relationship on Adolescents’ Self-Esteem in Divorce Family

Topics: Sampling, Psychological resilience, Divorce Pages: 19 (5062 words) Published: October 4, 2012
The Effects of Parental Relationship and
Parent-Child Relationship on
Adolescents’ Self-esteem in Divorce Family

Past western researches have shown support on the associations of parental and parent-child relationships towards adolescents’ self-esteem (SE) in intact and divorce families. Some theories attributed that the qualities of these relationships do have influences on how adolescent evaluate themselves. Our research proposal will analyze the effects of these two relationships on adolescents’ SE by conducting a survey. Research Objective

A study derives a suggestion in terms of whether the qualities of parent-child relationship and parental relationship have effects on the SE of the adolescents who live in an intact family. Higher levels of parental conflict and parent-child conflicts were associated with increases in adolescents' depressed mood, anxiety, and self-evaluation over time. Also, the study clearly shows that adolescents living in intact families with high conflict had significantly poorer SE than those who subject to lesser conflicts. Finally, the effects of the qualities of the relationships did not differ by age and sex, but the adolescents who experienced more negative effects of bad qualities of parental and parent-child relationships. (Mechanic & Hansell, 1989)

The objectives of this research are to find out whether there are significant correlations between parental and parent-child relationships on adolescents’ SE who live in divorce families respectively in Hong Kong’s situation.

There are a number of reasons that justify the need to conduct this research. Since many researches suggested that adolescents’ SE who live in an intact family will subject to the effects of parent-child and parental relationships, the first reason is to help people recognize in what extent the qualities of the relationships have effects towards adolescents’ SE who live in divorce family.

The second reason is that although some past studies had been conducted in the western countries, we are not certain that whether the generalization also applies to the situation in Hong Kong. Conducting such a research in Hong Kong could enable us to have a better comparative perspective in viewing the issue.

If the effects of the relationships’ qualities on adolescents’ SE are different owing to they living in a divorce family or an intact family, separated parents may need to take into account of the effects that they may potentially bring to their children. This research would serve as a reference for any further studies.

Literature Review
Parental Conflicts and Adolescents’ SE
Conflict is a feature of the marital relationship itself and can be expressed either as disagreements over numerous daily issues or as interpersonal hostility. For many children’s experience, parental conflicts are no rare when they are growing up. Some may confuse that whether both of parental divorce or parental conflicts influence adolescents’ SE. Some theories suggested parental conflict, not divorce itself, had long-term effects on children's SE. (Lau, 2007; Pawlak & Klein, 1997; Holman & Marion, 2004; Mechanic & Hansell, 1989) Parental conflict is hence the main focus of adolescents’ self-esteem.

With regards to parental conflicts, Pawlak & Klein (1997) suggested that under the presence of child, the emotional tones and the occurrence of positive and negative effects which spouses displayed to each other can generate both positive and negative effects towards their offspring. Long (1986) reported that college undergraduates whose parents were unhappy in their marriages had lower SE than those undergraduates whose parents were happy in their marriages. Negative emotional tone can be the critical conflict.

However, an existing research pointed out that parental conflicts do not necessarily result to negative influences towards children’s SE. In terms of children’s responses to marital conflicts, it has conceptualized...
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