Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Mary J. Levitt

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nathalie Franco

Third Advisor's Name

Marilyn Montgomery

Fourth Advisor's Name

William M. Kurtines

Date of Defense



The current study was designed to explore the salience of parent and peer support in middle childhood and early adolescence across two time periods as indicated by measures of achievement (grade point average (GPA), Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) scores and teacher rated school adaptation) and well-being (loneliness, depression, self-concept and teacher-rated internalizing behaviors).

Participants were part of an initial study on social network relations and school adaptation in middle childhood and early adolescence. Participants at Time I (in the spring of 1997) included 782 children in grades 4 and 6 of eight lower and middle-income public elementary schools. Participants (N= 694) were re-interviewed two years later in the spring of 1999 (Time 2).

Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used to investigate the change in salience of parent and peer support from Time 1 to Time 2. In addition, Tukey- HSD (Honestly Significant Difference) post hoc tests were used to test the significance of the differences among the means of four support categories: 1) low parent-low friend, 2) low parent-high friend, 3) high parent-low friend, and 4) high parent-high friend.

Compensatory effects were observed for loneliness and self-concept at Time 1, as well as for SAT scores, self-concept and overall achievement at Time 2. Results were consistent with existing findings that suggest a competitive model of parent/peer influence on achievement during adolescence. This study affirms the need for a more contextual approach to research examining competing and compensatory effects on adolescent development.




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