Representations of Relationships to Teachers, Parents, and Friends as Predictors of Academic Motivation and Self-Esteem

Richard M. Ryan, Jerome D. Stiller, John H. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

In this study early adolescents' (N = 606) representations of relationships to teachers, parents, andfriends are examined in relation to each other and to various measures of school adjustment, motivation and self-esteem. The relationship dimensions tapped included felt security, emotional and school utilization, and emulation with respect to each targetfigure. It was hypothesized that parent representations would predict those of both teachers and friends, whereas friend and teacher variables would not be significantly associated. It was predicted also that more positive representations of relationships to parents and teachers would each uniquely predict school functioning indices, whereas representations offriends would be largely unrelated to school-related outcomes. Representations of teachers, parents andfriends all were expected to correlate with self-esteem relevant outcomes. These hypotheses were generally confirmed. The findings are discussed in terms of the significance of relatednessformotivation generally and the importance of the affective quality of adult-student relationshipsfor educational outcomes in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-249
Number of pages24
JournalThe Journal of Early Adolescence
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1994

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