Quality of Family and Peers Interactions as Determinants of Self-Esteem in Adolescents

Đenita Tuce, Jadranka Kolenović-Đapo, Indira Fako


The aim of this paper was to examine the contribution of family, and peers context variables in explaining the variance of self-esteem during early, middle, and late adolescence. The research sample consisted of 344 elementary school students, 370 high school students and 357 college students. The average age of participants was M = 12.6 (SD = 0.63) for young adolescents, M = 16.5 (SD = 0.57) for middle adolescents, and M = 20.6 (SD = 1.17) for older adolescents. The following instruments were applied: General Data Questionnaire, Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire, Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale, Friendship Quality Questionnaire, Inventory of Peer Attachment-Revised and Self-esteem Scale. The results of hierarchical analyses indicate that set of predictor variables account for 38% of total variance of selfesteem in young, 21% of total variance of self-esteem in middle and 27% of total variance of selfesteem in older adolescents. With respect to family context variables, the self-esteem was significantly predicted by parental acceptance-rejection of mothers and family cohesion and adaptability in young and middle adolescents, and by perceived parental acceptance-rejection of both (mothers and fathers) in older adolescents. Considering peer context variables, in all three adolescent groups, the self-esteem was significantly predicted by perceived quality of attachment with peers. The results of this study indicate the necessity of taking into account the different forms of family and peers interactions, as well as the developmental specificities of a particular period of adolescence when considering family and peers determinants of self-esteem in adolescents.


self-esteem; adolescence; family interactions; peers interactions


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