Self-esteem in early adolescence as a function of position within Olson's circumplex model of marital and family systems

George Kawash1, Lorene Kozeluk2
1University of Guelph, Cameroon
2University of Guelph, Canada
Cite this article:  Kawash, G. , & Kozeluk, L. (1990). Self-esteem in early adolescence as a function of position within Olson's circumplex model of marital and family systems. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 18, 189-196.

Volume 18 Issue 2 | e615 | Published: August 1990 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1990.18.2.189

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Three hundred and twenty-seven eighth grade students completed the Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI; Coopersmith, 1984) and the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluations Scale (FACES III; Olson, Portner, & Lavee, 1985), as participants in a study investigating the relationship between self-esteem and perceptions of family characteristics. The students’ scores on the FACES 111 scale were cast into the 16 cells of the Circumplex Model (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle 1979, 1983), so that variations in SEI scores could be examined in this framework. Consistent with expectations, there was systematic covariation between SEI and FACES scores. Mean SEI scores increased monotonically with increases in cohesion, while they varied in a curvilinear fashion with increases in adaptability. This latter pattern was more in line with the theoretical formulations of Olson et al. than the former one. Results of a correlational analysis between SEI scores and the “Distance from the Center” index of Olson et al., were consistent with the view that optimal functioning tended to be found towards the center, that is at moderate overall combined levels of  cohesion and adaptability. These results were examined in the light of the relevant parent-child relations literature. It was noted that the most important parallel appeared to be between parental warmth and family cohesion.
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