Effects of parental favoritism on depression and aggression in Saudi Arabian adolescents

Nasser I. Moharib1
1Department of Psychology, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
Cite this article:  Moharib, N. I. (2013). Effects of parental favoritism on depression and aggression in Saudi Arabian adolescents. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 41(9), 1497-1510.

Volume 41 Issue 9 | e3326 | Published: October 2013 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2013.41.9.1497

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I examined the relationships among parental favoritism, gender of the parent exhibiting favoritism, gender of children who were the favored/disfavored ones, and symptoms of depression and aggression in a nationally representative sample of 25,607 Saudi Arabian adolescents (11,411 boys and 14,196 girls; aged between 13 and 18 years). Being a child who was singled out for negative treatment (disfavoritism) was positively related to depression (r = .39, p < .001) and aggression symptoms (r = .32, p < .001). Sons perceived themselves as being singled out for negative treatment by fathers more than daughters did, and daughters perceived themselves as being singled out for negative treatment by mothers more than sons did. The influence of parental favoritism/disfavoritism on children’s behavior was gender specific. The findings in this study, therefore, validate some results reported in previous studies conducted by researchers in Western cultures.

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