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Development of Self-Criticism in Adolscent Girls, Article Review Example

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Article Review

This study attempts to test hypotheses related to Baron and Kenney’s (1986) explanatory model of self-criticism. The authors test two 3-chain models.  The two models are: 1) Maternal warmth is predicted to mediate the relationship between maternal dissatisfaction and daughter attachment; 2) Daughter attachment was predicted to mediate the relationship between maternal warmth and daughter self-criticism.

The 54 12-15 year old females and their mothers were recruited from a newspaper ad related to a different experimental study.  The study’s description in the newspaper, so as not to give away the true subject of the study, stated that it concerned “how parents help their children learn.”  The study subjects were recruited in the city of Montreal.  The girls average mean age was 13.9. Seven of the mother-daughter couples were white; the other 7 were non-white but proficient at English.   Once recruited, the daughters and mothers were given a survey to complete, separately.

The PSI-SF was given to measure maternal dissatisfaction among the mothers. The measure is meant to measure several different stressors including general life stress, stress via interaction with the child, and the negative qualities that a child possesses.  The instrument contains a total of 12 items, and has a relatively robust rate of inter-rate reliability.

The PBI-M instrument was also used: the PBI-M measures are essentially used to measure two main dimensions of parenting: overprotection and care. The final two measures used are: 1) Inventory of Parent and Peer Assessment Secure Attachment to Mother- this measure is for the affective relationship between parents and peers.  The daughters and mothers recorded their answer on a 5-point scale; 2) Depressive Experience Questionnaire for Adolescents- this measure has 66 agreement statements that are used on a Likert scale to measure adolescents’ level of self-criticism.

The authors conclude that the inter-variable correlation is consistent with the current model.  That is to say, all of the variables had the predicted relationship according to the model used were the same.  The model also tested the hypotheses postulated in the beginning of the article: 1) “Maternal warmth is predicted to mediate the relationship between maternal dissatisfaction and daughter attachment;”  Based on the statistical results, the authors concluded that maternal warmth partially mediates the putative relationship between maternal dissatisfaction and daughter attachment.  The second hypothesis “Daughter attachment was predicted to mediate the relationship between maternal warmth and daughter self-criticism”; based on the results, it was found that the variable daughter attachment did mediate the relationship as predicted by theory.

The authors pointed out three main limitations to the study.  First, although the model predicts a causal model, the study conducted only measures correlations between the operationalized variables.  Second, there were only a limited number of subjects; the limited subject size hurts the study’s larger claims to generalizability.  Third, the study was conducted on adolescent females; thus, the study’s findings cannot be generalized to males or others not included in this sample.  The authors also identified two important implications: 1) The findings support the broader framework used by Blatt and Holman; 2) They confirm self-reported accounts of adolescent girls engaging in self-criticism.  Overall, the authors thought that further research was needed on the model and its application to different populations.

 

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