Adolescent Appraisals of Family Security as a Mediator of the Effect of Family Instability on Adolescent Self-Esteem

Marina Merkaš


The aim of this two-wave study was to examine the mediatingrole of adolescent appraisals of family security in the relationbetween family instability and adolescent self-esteem in a sampleof 377 adolescents and their mothers. Mothers' reports of familyinstability at Time 1 were significantly and positively associatedwith adolescent appraisals of family insecurity at Time 1 and Time 2. Adolescent self-esteem at Time 2 was significantly andnegatively related to family instability at T1 and family insecurityat Time 1 and Time 2. Findings from structural equation modelssupported the hypothesis that family instability undermines adolescents'self-esteem one year later by directly threatening adolescents'appraisals of family as a safe and secure system. The resultsindicated that adolescent appraisals fully mediated therelation between family instability and adolescent self-esteem.The implications of the findings for adolescent development in asecure and stable family environment are discussed and suggestionsfor further process-oriented research on the relation betweenfamily instability and adolescent development are stated.


family instability; security in the family system; self-esteem; adolescence

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096