Family Processes and Leisure Activity Involvement Across the High School Transition: The Mediating Roles of Adolescent Internalizing Problems and Self-Esteem
Dashiell-Aje, Ebony N.
Rubin, Kenneth H
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Parents are among the most important socializing agents in adolescents' lives. The purpose of the current study was to examine the prospective relations between family processes and leisure activity involvement across the high school transition. Specifically, I explored the meditational role of adolescent psychological well-being (internalizing problems and self-esteem) in these relations. The first aim of the present study included two dimensions: 1) to examine whether there were prospective relations between family processes (maternal and paternal parenting) and adolescent leisure involvement across the high school transition; and 2) to investigate the extent to which psychological well-being mediated the relations between family processes and adolescent leisure activity choices, based on Eccles and Harold's (1991) research linking parenting dimensions to leisure outcomes. The second aim of this study was to explore whether boys and girls differed in the extent to which their psychological well-being mediated the relations between family processes and leisure activity involvement from the 8th to the 9th grade. It was hypothesized that perceptions of maternal and paternal parenting would differentially relate to adolescent leisure activity intensity and enjoyment. Likewise, I hypothesized that internalizing problems and self-esteem would act as mediators in these relations. Finally, I hypothesized that gender would moderate some of the meditational relations. OLS regression and bootstrapping techniques were used to test simple mediation and moderated mediation for all variables. Significant mediation effects emerged for relations between perceptions of paternal involvement and sports intensity and enjoyment through internalizing problems. Additionally, internalizing problems mediated the relation between perceptions of paternal support and sports enjoyment. An indirect effect emerged for the relation between adolescent's perceptions of maternal negativity and arts enjoyment through self-esteem. Subsequent hierarchical regressions revealed significant gender by family process interactions when predicting leisure involvement and one significant gender by internalizing problems interaction effect emerged when predicting social activity enjoyment. These findings suggest that maternal and paternal parenting play significant and differential roles in adolescent leisure activity involvement across the high school transition. These results also suggest that adolescent psychological well-being effects the relations between adolescent perceptions of parenting and their leisure activity involvement.