Impact of parental divorce on delingquent behavior and psychosocial development in early adolescents : the moderating effects of social support, self-esteem, and locus of control Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4j03d267h

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  • Research has shown that stress is related to negative physical and psychological changes among adults. Compared to the large body of literature on stress among adults, research on the effects of life stress among children and adolescents is relatively sparse. There is evidence, however, that stressful life events are related to problems among children and adolescents. Such problems include poor health, psychological distress, depression, suicide, and delinquent behavior. Research also has revealed several factors that moderate stress in children and adolescents. These factors include high self-esteem, an internal locus of control orientation, and social support from family and friends. Five scales measuring locus of control orientation, social support, level of psychosocial development, self-esteem, life events, and delinquent behavior were given to thirty early adolescents from divorced homes and thirty-four adolescents from intact homes. Results of regression analysis, using a general linear model, indicated that early adolescents from divorced homes had lower levels of self-esteem than children from intact homes. There were no significant differences between children from divorced and intact families in levels of delinquent behavior, locus of control, or psychosocial development as reflected in levels of autonomy, intimacy, and identity. Multiple regression analysis revealed that social support in the form of close friend support had a significant moderating effect on the delinquent behavior of early adolescents experiencing parental divorce. Levels of parental, teacher, and classmate support, as well as self-esteem and locus of control orientation, did not show any moderating effects on delinquent behavior. This study indicates that the impact of parental divorce on early adolescents is influenced by many factors. This study lends support to the need to investigate the effects of divorce on children and adolescents in terms of the coping resources available to the child.
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