Maternal support and deviance among rural adolescents: The mediating role of self-esteem

Dan Liu, Albert J. Ksinan, Alexander T. Vazsonyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Supportive mothering buffers against adolescent deviance, but the precise mechanisms underlying this relationship are poorly understood. The current investigation tested the extent to which self-esteem mediated the maternal support-deviance link and whether it varied by adolescent age and sex. Methods: Data were collected from 911 middle and high school students in the rural South (53.6% female, Mage = 14.70 years). Main model tests were completed in SEM. Results: Results indicated that maternal support and self-esteem were positively associated and negatively to deviance, and that self-esteem mediated the support-deviance link. These associations did not differ by adolescent age. However, moderating effects by sex were significant, where maternal support had a greater effect on girls’ self-esteem, while self-esteem had a greater effect on boys’ deviance. Conclusions: Findings provide some evidence of how maternal support is associated with a positive self-concept that in turn decreases the likelihood of engaging in deviant behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents


  • Deviance
  • Maternal support
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Rural youth
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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