Links Between Depression Symptoms, Delinquent Behavior, Self-Esteem and Family Environment Variables Among Adolescents

Oksana Malinauskienė, Loreta Bukšnytė-Marmienė


The article analyses associations between depression symptoms, delinquent behavior, selfesteem and family environment of adolescents. Thus, the purpose of this study is to identify associations between depression symptoms, delinquent behavior, self-esteem and family environment of adolescents. The used data is from longitudinal “Political Socialization from Adolescence to Young Adulthood: Mechanisms of Emergence of Citizens’ Identity in Lithuania” study. The sample consisted of 1978 subjects (1160 girls (58.6 percent) and 818 boys (41.4 percent)), aged 15-18 (M = 16.63, SD = 1.05). Three individual context scales were used in the study: Children’s Depression Scale (Faulstich et al., 1986), Delinquency scale (Magnusson et al., 1975; updated by Kerr and Statt, 2003), Rosenberg Self-esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965), and the five scales of family context: Guilt induction scale (Persson et al., 2004), Emotional warmth scale (Trost et al., 2007), Attachment in Adolescence scale (West et al., 1998), Freedom-granting scale (Stattin and Kerr, 2000), Constructive problem solving scale (Stattin and Kerr, 2000). The results showed that self-esteem was negatively related to depression symptoms and was not related to delinquent behavior. It was found that parents’ emotional warmth, constructive problem solving and attachment to parents were negatively related, and guilt imputation of both parents was positively related to depression symptoms and delinquent behavior. Furthermore, freedom granting of father was negatively related and freedom granting of mother was positively related to delinquent behavior of adolescents. Regression analysis showed that self-esteem allowed better prediction of depression symptoms than delinquent behavior of adolescents, and family environment variables improved predictive abilities of depression symptoms and delinquent behavior.


emotional and behavioral problems; self-esteem; family context; adolescence

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