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Family Economic Hardship, Parental Support, and Adolescent Self-Esteem


Whitbeck, Les B.; Simons, Ronald L.; Conger, Rand D.; Lorenz, Frederick O.; Huck, Shirley; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (1991). Family Economic Hardship, Parental Support, and Adolescent Self-Esteem. Social Psychology Quarterly, 54(4), 353-363.


Basing our research on self-reports and observational data from a sample of 451 families of early adolescents, we use structural equation modeling to examine the effects of parents' reports of family economic hardship on the self-esteem of their adolescent children. We found that family economic hardship affects early adolescents' self-esteem indirectly by decreasing parental support and inolvement, but had a very weak direct effect. We conclude that the effects of the family's economic hard times on parents' behaviors toward their adolescent children are more psychologically central to early adolescents than are the direct consequences of the family's economic situation.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Psychology Quarterly


Whitbeck, Les B.
Simons, Ronald L.
Conger, Rand D.
Lorenz, Frederick O.
Huck, Shirley
Elder, Glen H., Jr.