The purpose of the current study was to explore the direct and indirect influences of both paternal and maternal anxiety on adolescent self-esteem as mediated by parental criticism and autonomy allowance. Participants included 331 parent-child triads with a child between the ages of 12 and 15 from the Flourishing Families Project. Findings suggested that maternal anxiety had a significant negative influence on adolescent self-esteem while paternal anxiety did not. Also, the influence of maternal anxiety on adolescent self-esteem was carried directly rather than indirectly through autonomy allowance and parental criticism; however, this influence was only significant prior to adolescent gender comparisons. Furthermore, maternal autonomy allowance was positively associated with self-esteem for male adolescents with male self-esteem being more sensitive to maternal autonomy allowance than female self-esteem. In addition, maternal anxiety was associated with an increased use of parental criticism. For fathers, anxiety was associated with restricted autonomy allowance and increased use of parental criticism. Findings may be helpful to both parents and clinicians in identifying how parental anxiety influences parenting and adolescent self-esteem.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Coutts, Holly Olson, "Don't worry....be happy: The Influence of Parental Anxiety on Adolescent Self-Esteem" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 2961.
parenting, anxiety, self-esteem, adolescents