• Dyslexia;
  • adults;
  • emotions;
  • self-esteem;
  • perceived family support;
  • mediator

Although a growing body of literature shows that perceived family support (PFS) influences self-esteem in adults with dyslexia, little empirical attention has been given to the mechanisms through which this effect operates across early, middle, and late adulthood. The present study examined the mediational effect of emotional experience with dyslexia (EED, emotions stemming from living with an often misunderstood and stereotyped learning difficulty) that may account for the empirical link between PFS and self-esteem. The participants were 224 adults with self-identified dyslexia (average age = 49.1 years, males = 64.7%) who participated in a Web-based survey. A bootstrapping analysis (a new approach to mediational analysis) revealed that EED mediated the relationship between PFS and self-esteem across the entire sample and in early and middle adulthood. The mediational effect was strongest in early adulthood. Implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.