Effects of Social Support on Adolescent Identity Development
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This research explores the complex interconnection between self-concept development and various forms of social support, including support from parents, peers, and adults, during adolescence. Adolescence plays a crucial role in shaping an individual's sense of self and identity, and social influence serves as a pivotal factor in this process (Pfeifer and Berkman, 2018). During this transformative stage, individuals are particularly sensitive to the feedback and support they receive from their social networks, as it can significantly impact how they perceive themselves and construct their self-concept (Erikson, 1968). Using data from Wave 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, or Add Health, and a multiple linear regression, here we examined relations between social support and self-concept development in students grades 7-12 (at baseline N=20,745). It was hypothesized that the interaction between parent and peer support is expected to positively influence adolescent self-concept. The result of this analysis revealed that the interaction between parent and peer support significantly influences adolescent self-concept, with parent and peer support individually showing no direct effects. Additionally, sex differences in self-concept were noted. The results underscore the importance of considering the interplay between various sources of social support in fostering healthy self-concept development in adolescents, carrying practical implications for interventions. By exploring these dynamics, we can gain a deeper understanding of how individuals navigate their sense of self in response to social influences, ultimately shedding light on strategies to foster healthy self-concept development in adolescents and improve their overall well-being.
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