Difficult temperament predicts self-esteem in adolescence



A six-year longitudinal study investigated the impact of maternal hostile child-rearing attitudes, role dissatisfaction, and maternal perceptions of adolescent temperamental difficultness on self-esteem in late adolescence, after controlling for the initial self-esteem measured in early adolescence. Adolescents (n = 313), derived from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study, rated their self-esteem at the study entry at age 12, and six years later at age 18. Maternal reports of child-rearing attitudes, of role satisfaction, and of the temperament of the adolescent were obtained at the study entry and three years later. Mother's perceptions of adolescent's temperament as difficult at ages 12 and 15 predicted adolescent's self-reported self-esteem in late adolescence, whereas earlier self-esteem did not predict later perceptions of temperament or parenting. We found no evidence that maternal perceptions of parenting indirectly, or after controlling for the initial level, predicted adolescent's self-reported self-esteem. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.