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07-08-2018 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 2/2019

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2/2019

Developmental Change and Correlates of Autonomy in Asian American Adolescents

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 2/2019
Auteurs:
Lisa Kiang, Kalpa Bhattacharjee

Abstract

Although establishing a sense of autonomy has been long thought to be a fundamental developmental task, there are still gaps in literature in terms of how autonomy changes over time and interacts with other important factors in adolescents’ lives. In the present study, 158 (60% female; 74% second generation) Asian Americans were followed throughout high school and surveyed for self-reported autonomy, parent-child closeness, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms each year. Hierarchical linear modeling investigated whether autonomy changed over time, whether yearly changes in autonomy were related to changes in parent-child closeness, and whether both constructs were associated with adjustment. The results indicated that, although autonomy did not linearly increase over the high school years, intra-individual increases in autonomy were associated with increases in father-child closeness. Effects of mother-child closeness were similar, but only approached statistical significance. Autonomy and closeness to mother were each positively associated with self-esteem, and their interactive effect on depressive symptoms was also significant, which suggests that both autonomy and relatedness with mother are important for Asian American adolescents’ psychological well-being.

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