Mounts, Nina S.
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Department of Psychology
This observational investigation had two aims. The first aim was to examine the direct associations between maternal social coaching strategies and adolescents’ social outcomes. The second aim was to assess whether adolescents’ trait perspective taking and empathic concern are moderators of the relationship between maternal social coaching strategies and adolescents’ social outcomes. Sixty-four early adolescents (Mage=12.38 years old) and their primary female caregiver participated in the study. The majority of caregivers were biological mothers (n = 61). The sample consisted of 41 girls (64.1%) and 23 boys (35.9%). Mothers and their early adolescents were video recorded discussing typical hypothetical peer-related situations. Conversations were coded for the frequency of social coaching strategies used by mothers: problem solving, help seeking, secondary control engagement, maternal disengagement, maternal self-reliant, maternal scaffolding, and maternal modeling. Adolescents reported on their positive friendship quality, friendship conflict, prosocial behavior, perspective taking, and empathic concern. Several main effects were established, but the direction of a few associations was different from the original hypothesis. First, there was no significant relationship between problem solving strategies and positive friendship quality or friendship conflict. Higher levels of problem solving strategies were related to lower levels of prosocial behavior. Second, help seeking strategies were not significantly related to positive friendship quality or prosocial behavior. Higher levels of help seeking strategies were related to higher levels of friendship conflict. Third, secondary control engagement strategies were not significantly related to any of the outcome variables. Fourth, maternal disengagement strategies were not significantly related to any of the outcome variables. Fifth, maternal scaffolding strategies were not significantly related to any of the outcome variables. Last, maternal modeling (engagement) strategies were not significantly related to positive friendship quality or prosocial behavior. Higher levels of maternal modeling (engagement) strategies were related to lower levels of friendship conflict. The relationship between maternal social coaching strategies and adolescents’ social behavior was not moderated by empathic concern and perspective taking. Taken together, findings highlight the importance of examining the different types of social coaching strategies that mothers use to assist their early adolescents with their peer-related issues.
Low, Natalie, "An Examination of Observed Maternal Social Coaching Strategies and Early Adolescents' Social Adjustment" (2022). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7376.
Northern Illinois University
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