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The impact of parenting on susceptibility to peer influence : role of self-concept and culture


The impact of parenting on susceptibility to peer influence : role of self-concept and culture

Yang, Zhiyong (2007) The impact of parenting on susceptibility to peer influence : role of self-concept and culture. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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The influence from peers is viewed as the most important factor that causes substance use among teenagers (e.g., Akers et al. 1979; Kandel 1996). Among a variety of preventive factors, certain aspects of parenting (e.g., parental responsiveness, psychological control) are believed to affect adolescents' susceptibility to negative peer influence. These studies have produced some intriguing findings. Nonetheless, three significant gaps remain in the literature. First, previous research of parent-peer linkages has exclusively focused on deviance behaviors. We know little about how parental practices may affect adolescents' susceptibility to peer influence (SPI) on consumer choices. Second, past studies have mainly examined the direct effects of parenting on negative peer pressure, while the process by which parents affect peer relationships remains an area that to date has been underexplored. Lastly, interpersonal influence is inherently a cultural process. Despite the importance of culture as a contextual factor, there has been little academic research on the topic of SPI in a cross-cultural setting. The purpose of this research is to fill these gaps by further explicating parental influences on SPI. Different from previous studies, we will examine parent-peer linkages not only from the angle of negative peer pressure, but also from a more general perspective to study peer influence on purchasing patterns. More importantly, we will investigate not only the direct effects of relevant parent practices on SPI per se, but also the mediated effects of parenting on SPI through the adolescent self-concept. In addition, we will extend the proposed parent-self-peer paradigm developed in Western cultures to Eastern cultures, in order to investigate the moderating role of culture on the proposed relationships among parenting dimensions, key elements of self, and SPI. In Study 1, triadic data from 109 English-Canadian families was collected to verify the proposed parent-self-peer model in the Western context. Consistent with our expectations, results revealed that the effects of parental responsiveness on SPI were fully mediated by key aspects of self-concept, including interdependent self-construal, self-esteem, and self-monitoring. Since Study 1 was cross-sectional and could not verify the causality proposed in our framework, we conducted Study 2 to determine the causal directions of the parent-self-peer relationships through a longitudinal analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) data. Findings of the longitudinal analysis largely supported our assumption that parenting dimensions are more likely to be the antecedents of peer influence than conversely. In Study 3, we gathered 1,142 sets of family triadic data from mainland China and selected a part of the sample (n = 216) to test the hypothesized moderating effects of culture on the parent-self-peer linkages. Cross-cultural similarities as well as differences were found in this study. Specifically, in both cultures, parental responsiveness tended to be negatively associated with SPI, while psychological control tended to be positively associated with it. The magnitudes of these relationships and the way through which parents affect SPI, however, were different across the English-Canadian and the Chinese samples. These findings are broadly supportive of our hypotheses. Theoretical and managerial implications to the literature will also be discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Yang, Zhiyong
Pagination:xi, 113 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph. D.)
Program:John Molson School of Business
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laroche, M
Identification Number:LE 3 C66M37P 2007 Y36
ID Code:975827
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:15
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 20:08
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