The Effect of Stepfathers on Self-Perception and Familial Support
Keywords:Social development, Social Impact, Nature vs. Nurture, Adolescents, Educational Development
The National Survey on American Life – Adolescent Supplemental data was designed to lay the foundation for future research in early identification of mental disorders for adults. The inclusion of social conditions adds to this detailed measure of mental health and provides a wealth of information that can be observed about mental well-being in adolescents. In particular, we used this data set to explore the interplay between self-perception and family relationships based on the absence of a biological father among African-American and Caribbean adolescents. This study provides a quantitative analysis of the difference between the perceived self and familial factors for those with a stepfather and those without a stepfather. As evident in the findings, those with a stepfather reported to have higher self-esteem, a more positive perception of self, and a more uplifting family model compared to those without a stepfather. These findings were detected by noting the significance values for a one-way ANOVA and observing the mean differences among the selected variables. Some discrepancy did exist, however; self-esteem with regards to education was reported to be lower for adolescents with a stepfather than without. This could be attributed to an overachievement mentality by those from single parent homes, alluding to the idea that adolescents without stepfathers possess intrinsic motivation and have the drive to attain a higher education. The data showed the presence of a father figure enhances self-perception and familial support, but not academic motivation.
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