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Relationship Between Multiple Sources of Perceived Social Support and

Psychological and Academic Adjustment in Early Adolescence: Comparisons
Across Gender

Article  in  Journal of Youth and Adolescence · January 2010

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-008-9368-6 · Source: PubMed


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3 authors:

Sandra Yu Rueger Christine Malecki

Wheaton College Illinois Northern Illinois University


Michelle Kilpatrick Demaray

Northern Illinois University


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J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61
DOI 10.1007/s10964-008-9368-6


Relationship Between Multiple Sources of Perceived Social

Support and Psychological and Academic Adjustment in Early
Adolescence: Comparisons Across Gender
Sandra Yu Rueger Æ Christine Kerres Malecki Æ
Michelle Kilpatrick Demaray

Received: 15 August 2008 / Accepted: 7 November 2008 / Published online: 9 December 2008
Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Abstract The current study investigated gender differ- important developmental outcomes, more recently finding
ences in the relationship between sources of perceived that the source of support is a contributing factor in those
support (parent, teacher, classmate, friend, school) and relationships (Bogard 2005; Davidson and Demaray 2007;
psychological and academic adjustment in a sample of 636 Jackson and Warren 2000). In addition, there is strong
(49% male) middle school students. Longitudinal data were evidence in the literature for gender differences in how
collected at two time points in the same school year. The boys and girls perceive (Cheng and Chan 2004; Demaray
study provided psychometric support for the Child and and Malecki 2002; Frey and Röthlisberger 1996; Furman
Adolescent Social Support Scale (Malecki et al., A work- and Buhrmester 1992; Malecki and Demaray 2003) and
ing manual on the development of the Child and utilize support (Eschenbeck et al. 2007; Frydenberg and
Adolescent Social Support Scale (2000). Unpublished Lewis 1991, 1993). However, the literature is not clear to
manuscript, Northern Illinois University, 2003) across what extent there are gender differences in the effects of
gender, and demonstrated gender differences in perceptions social support from various sources. More specifically,
of support in early adolescence. In addition, there were there are mixed findings in relation to support from parents
significant associations between all sources of support with (e.g., Hoffman et al. 1988; Sheeber et al. 1997; Slavin and
depressive symptoms, anxiety, self-esteem, and academic Rainer 1990) and peer groups (e.g., Bogard 2005; Dunn
adjustment, but fewer significant unique effects of each et al. 1987; Slavin and Rainer 1990). In addition, there is
source. Parental support was a robust unique predictor of limited information about gender differences in support
adjustment for both boys and girls, and classmates’ support from other sources, such as teachers and other non-parental
was a robust unique predictor for boys. These results adults. Thus, an investigation of gender differences across
illustrate the importance of examining gender differences multiple sources of support on several important outcomes
in the social experience of adolescents with careful atten- during adolescence would add important new insights to
tion to measurement and analytic issues. our understanding of adolescent development.

Keywords Adolescence  Social support  Differences and Continuities Across Gender

Gender differences  CASSS  Psychometric
The question of whether there are gender differences in the
effects of social support is an especially compelling
Introduction question to address, as gender differences have been con-
sistently documented in mean levels of support, especially
Years of research have shown significant, meaningful regarding peer groups. For example, although boys and
relationships between the support adolescents perceive and girls report similar levels of support from parents and
teachers (Demaray and Malecki 2002; Malecki and Dem-
aray 2003; Rueger et al. in press), girls seem to have higher
S. Y. Rueger (&)  C. K. Malecki  M. K. Demaray
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA perceptions of support from their peers than do boys
e-mail: (Cheng and Chan 2004; Furman and Buhrmester 1992). In

48 J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61

addition, girls reportedly perceive significantly more sup- psychological adjustment. Similarly, a stronger association
port from their peers than from their parents, and boys between emotional problems and global support was found
perceive significantly more support from their parents than for girls compared to boys (Schraedley et al. 1999). Thus, it
from their peers (Frey and Röthlisberger 1996). Further, is possible that girls are more likely to seek out other
when the general peer group, i.e., classmates, is distin- sources of support when support from any one source is
guished from close friends, girls have been found to low, and only show adjustment problems when overall
perceive significantly more support from close friends than support is low (Dunn et al. 1987).
classmates, parents or teachers, whereas boys have been Interestingly, when close friends are distinguished from
found to perceive significantly less support from classmates the general peer group, the literature suggests that support
than close friends, parents or teachers (Rueger et al. in from the general peer group is more strongly associated
press). The significance of the impact of these gender than support from close friends with positive outcomes,
differences in perceptions of support will be important to such as clinical and school adjustment (Demaray et al.
clarify in future research. 2005) and socially adaptive behaviors (Rueger et al. in
In a related literature, the use of social support as a press). In addition, support from the general peer group,
coping strategy seems gender-based as well. Research such as classmates, has been consistently associated with
suggests that girls are more likely to seek support as a adjustment, even after accounting for support from close
coping strategy, whereas boys are more likely to use friends, but the opposite has not been found (Demaray and
avoidance or physical recreation as a coping strategy Malecki 2002; Rueger et al. in press). For example,
(Eschenbeck et al. 2007; Frydenberg and Lewis 1991, 1993). classmates’ support predicted lower depression and lower
This is consistent with previous research that has found that hyperactivity, higher leadership, and better social skills for
girls tend to develop friendships that are more emotionally girls, and higher leadership for boys, above and beyond
intimate and involve a sharing of confidence, whereas boys support from close friends, parents, and teachers. However,
tend to develop friendships that involve mutual interests support from close friends was not a unique predictor of
and physical activity (Frey and Röthlisberger 1996; Mac- any adjustment indices for boys, and was negatively
coby 1990). These results are consistent with Gilligan’s associated with leadership and social skills for girls (Rue-
(1982) developmental theory of gender differences, which ger et al. in press). This is consistent with other studies that
suggests that girls might value relational intimacy in a have found positive associations between support from
different way or to a different degree than boys, and might friends and negative outcomes, such as externalizing
invest more time and effort in social relationships than behaviors for boys and girls (Kerr et al. 2006) and higher
boys. This theory also proposes that identity development rates of delinquency for boys (Licitra-Kleckler and Waas
for girls may be interrelated with relationship development, 1993). Overall, there is consistent support in the literature
which suggests that social resources might play a more for the importance of the general peer group, but less
significant role in the well-being of girls than boys. How- consistent support for the importance of close friends.
ever, results have been mixed regarding significant More research on peer support in adolescence will be
relationships between support sources and adjustment, and important to try to tease apart the distinctive contributions
the question still remains whether girls and boys are dif- that support from close friends and support from classmates
ferentially influenced by perceived support from various can have on adolescent development.
Support from Parents
Support from the Peer Group
Research on parental support has been consistent in dem-
Some research has shown that support from friends is onstrating the important role that parents play in the
related to lower depression and higher self-esteem for both healthy adjustment of adolescents. For example, higher
boys and girls (e.g., Colarossi and Eccles 2003). However, levels of parental support (sometimes measured by support
other studies have documented gender differences: One from families in general) have consistently been associated
study found that support from friends is associated with with better school adjustment (Dubow et al. 1991; Dunn
lower levels of depression in girls but not boys (Slavin and et al. 1987), higher self-esteem (Hoffman et al. 1988), and
Rainer 1990), while another recent study demonstrated that lower depression (Cheng 1997; Colarossi and Eccles 2003;
the relationship between peer support and adjustment was Licitra-Kleckler and Waas 1993; Newman et al. 2007).
significant only for boys (Bogard 2005). Relatedly, Dunn Additionally, lower levels of parental support have been
et al. (1987) reported that, although peer support was a associated with general psychological distress and emo-
unique predictor of psychological adjustment only for tional problems (Demaray et al. 2005; Helsen et al. 2000;
boys, global support was significantly related to girls’ Ystgaard 1997). There is also evidence that support from

J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61 49

parents and peers are independent systems (Helsen et al. on gender differences in the relationship between important
2000), and that lack of parental support cannot be com- psychological indices and support from non-parental
pensated for by peer support (Van Beest and Baerveldt adults, such as school personnel, as so much of an ado-
1999). lescent’s day is spent in the school environment.
In addition, many studies that have addressed gender
differences in parental support have shown consistency Issues Related to the Measurement of Social Support
across gender in the relationship between parental support
and higher self-esteem (Hoffman et al. 1988), better aca- Operational Definition of Social Support
demic adjustment (Dunn et al. 1987; Wall et al. 1999),
lower depression and psychological distress (Sheeber et al. It is possible that equivocal results in the literature could be
1997; Way and Robinson 2003; Ystgaard 1997), and lower related to varied definitions of social support across studies,
substance abuse (Kerr et al. 2006). However, other studies or other related measurement issues (Winemiller et al.
have demonstrated a significant association between 1993). For example, one study demonstrated significant
parental support and lower depression (e.g., Colarossi and effects of family support on depressive symptoms (Sheeber
Eccles 2003; Slavin and Rainer 1990), lower aggression et al. 1997), whereas another study failed to find significant
and conduct problems (Rueger et al. in press), and better effects of family support on depressive symptoms (Slavin
overall emotional well-being (Helsen et al. 2000) for girls and Rainer 1990). However, the former study utilized
but not boys. Still others have found the opposite to be true: multiple measures of the overall family environment,
One study found a significant association between parental including elements of cohesion and conflict, and maternal
support and lower substance abuse only for boys (Lifrak support, and the latter study utilized a measure of perceived
et al. 1997), and another found that family cohesion served emotional support. Such differences in measurement
a protective function from the effects of stress, resulting in strategy should be taken into account when comparing
fewer disciplinary problems for boys but not girls (Weist results from different studies and planning future research.
et al. 1995). Thus, it seems clear that parental support Variability in the operational definition and/or mea-
makes a difference in the lives of adolescents; however surement strategy can be particularly problematic when
gender differences in these associations are less clear. this occurs within a single study. For example, one recent
study used two different social support measures when
Support from Other Sources investigating support from a significant other and global
support, and found significant findings only for global
There is also evidence that support from teachers is asso- support (Jackson and Warren 2000); however, the use of
ciated with more adaptive emotional functioning (Colarossi two different measurement tools hinder clear interpreta-
and Eccles 2003; Reddy et al. 2003), as well as higher tions of these results. Another issue is the measurement of
levels of school achievement (Malecki and Demaray 2003; global support: Some studies combine support from several
Rosenfeld et al. 2000). In addition, there is some evidence specified sources into a global measure (e.g., Jackson and
that overall school climate is also important, as it has been Warren 2000) whereas others assess support in a global
found to be a significant predictor of lower depression manner, without identifying the source of support (e.g.,
(Newman et al. 2007), higher school adjustment (Demaray Weist et al. 1995). A systematic comparison of the rela-
et al. 2005) and higher self-esteem (Way and Robinson tionships between support from various sources using a
2003). However, less is known about gender differences in comparable assessment tool could better inform the ques-
these relationships. The few studies that have addressed tion of how social support from various sources relates to
gender differences in the effects of teachers’ support have various outcomes by minimizing methodological variance.
been equivocal. For example, one study found no gender One assessment tool that could be useful for such sys-
differences in the effects of teachers’ support on lower tematic studies is the Child and Adolescent Social Support
depression and higher self-esteem (Colarossi and Eccles Scale-2000 (CASSS; Malecki et al. 2003). The CASSS is
2003). Another study found a significant relationship based on a theoretical conceptualization of perceived social
between support from teachers and perceptions of career support as multidimensional in nature (House 1981; Tardy
opportunity for girls but not boys (Wall et al. 1999). A third 1985). The original version of the CASSS (Malecki and
study found a significant relationship between support from Demaray 2002) was revised by rewording and/or re-dis-
teachers and lower substance abuse for boys but not girls tributing new items to create an equal number of items
(Lifrak et al. 1997). It is difficult to interpret these dis- pertaining to four types of support (emotional, instrumen-
crepant results because of the different outcomes under tal, informational, and appraisal) within each subscale.
investigation, but it is clear that more work needs to be There are twelve items pertaining to each source, with
done in this area. Future research should continue to focus three items tapping each of the four types of support. In

50 J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61

addition, a fifth subscale was added to the CASSS that taps significant effects of family support, with no gender dif-
overall school support. Thus, the CASSS offers a com- ferences, whereas another study that focused on depression
prehensive measurement of five different sources of (Slavin and Rainer 1990) failed to find unique effects of
support (parent, teacher, classmate, friend, school) com- family support, above and beyond the effects of all other
prised of four different types of support (emotional, sources of support. In this case, the studies may not nec-
informational, appraisal, and instrumental). In addition, the essarily be offering discrepant findings, as different
CASSS allows for a global assessment of support from all questions are being addressed.
five sources by summing the five subscales. The use of one Relatedly, some studies demonstrate significant inde-
single instrument in investigations of the effects of various pendent associations of parental support with psychological
sources of support relative to other sources, as well as indices, but fewer unique associations above and beyond
global support, would control for an important source of other sources of support in multiple regression analyses in
measurement error. the same sample (Demaray et al. 2005; Rueger et al. in
The CASSS has previously been used in the literature press). This pattern suggests that parents continue to play
(Demaray and Malecki 2003; Malecki and Demaray 2006), an important role in adolescence, but may play a relatively
and there is strong evidence for its psychometric sound- smaller role relative to other sources, possibly due to the
ness, such as excellent internal consistency, strong test- shift to a reliance on peer support sources in adolescence.
retest reliability, and construct validity as demonstrated by These examples highlight the importance of considering
significant correlations with other established measures of both independent and unique effects to assess the important
social support (e.g., Social Support Scale for Children; contribution that various support sources may have on
Harter 1985). In addition, an exploratory factor analysis well-being, and the importance of clear interpretations and
supported the distinctness of the five sources (Malecki and comparisons of results across studies based on analytic
Demaray 2003). However, an analysis of the psychometric strategy.
properties of this measure across gender would add to the
literature, as interest in gender differences in social support
continues to grow. Further, a confirmatory factor analysis Current Investigation
of the CASSS would add to the psychometric support for
this instrument. The primary goal of the current study was to investigate
gender differences in the relationship between multiple
Independent and Unique Associations Among Sources sources of support on psychological and academic adjust-
of Support ment. This was done in a systematic manner by testing the
independent and unique effects of several sources of sup-
Another issue to consider in interpreting discrepant find- port using a single instrument that assesses comparable
ings and planning future research is the analytic strategy aspects of social support across sources. Finally, all anal-
used in answering questions about various sources of yses were investigated with concurrent and longitudinal
support (Cohen and Cohen 1983). Results from studies that data to test the robustness of effects over time. A secondary
focus on multiple sources of support (e.g., Hoffman et al. goal for this study was to provide additional psychometric
1988; Slavin and Rainer 1990) are comparable to results support for the CASSS before using this measure to address
from studies that focus on single sources of support (e.g., the main research questions.
Sheeber et al. 1997) only when multiple-source studies There were two main research questions guiding the
analyze the associations of each source independent of current study. The first question was, ‘‘What are the inde-
other sources (e.g., Hoffman et al. 1988). The question pendent associations between various social support
addressed by these types of studies is related to the inde- sources and specific indices of psychological and academic
pendent predictive power of individual sources of support. adjustment?’’ Based on the consistent support for associa-
However, some studies address the unique predictive tions between support and internalizing distress and
power of individual sources of support, i.e., the predictive academic adjustment (e.g., Demaray et al. 2005) but lim-
power of one source of support, above and beyond other ited support for the association between support and
sources of support (e.g., Slavin and Rainer 1990). Both are anxiety (e.g., Landman-Peeters et al. 2005), it was pre-
important questions to address; however, results will be dicted that all five sources of support would be
different when considering independent effects of support independently associated with lower depressive symptoms,
sources versus unique effects of support sources, and higher self-esteem, and better attitude toward school con-
interpretations of results should be made accordingly. For currently (Hypothesis 1a), but that only support from
example, one study that investigated the independent parents, teachers, and classmates would be independently
effects of support on depression (Sheeber et al. 1997) found associated with these outcomes longitudinally (Hypothesis

J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61 51

1b). Gender differences and other longitudinal relation- Version (BASC-2 SRP-A; Reynolds and Kamphaus 2004)
ships were investigated as exploratory empirical questions from Time 1 and Time 2. Data from official records,
due to the equivocal or limited support in the literature. including the year-end grade point average, were collected
The second research question was, ‘‘What are the unique at the end of the school year.
associations between the various support sources and out- Survey data were collected by research assistants in
comes?’’ Based on previous research (e.g., Colarossi and large groups in the student cafeteria (approximately 150
Eccles 2003; Way and Robinson 2003), it was predicted students per administration). Students were assured of
that support from parents and classmates would be confidentiality before administration began, and all items
uniquely predictive of depressive symptoms and self- were read aloud to maintain a reasonable pace and focus,
esteem, i.e., above and beyond the influence of other and to control for possible reading level differences. At the
sources, for both boys and girls both concurrently conclusion of the school-wide assessment and the delivery
(Hypothesis 2a) and longitudinally (Hypothesis 2b). All of the assessment report, the de-identified data were made
other associations and gender differences were investigated available as extant data for research as approved by the
as exploratory empirical questions because of the equivocal Institutional Review Board.
or limited findings in the literature.

Methods Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS;

Malecki et al. 2003)
The CASSS is a 60-item, self-report measure of perceived
The current study included 636 participants from either social support. Students rate the frequency with which they
seventh (52.8%, n = 336) or eighth (47.2%, n = 300) perceive supportive behaviors from parents, teachers,
grade in a large suburban middle school. These participants classmates, close friends, and the school (from 1-never to
were part of a longitudinal data collection. There were 801 6-very often). There are twelve supportive behaviors for
participants in the fall data collection and 760 participants each source of support. Furthermore, among those twelve
in the spring data collection; however, the current sample behaviors for each source, three assess emotional support
included only participants with complete data at both time (i.e., feeling loved or cared for), three assess informational
points (N = 636). The total school attendance for the year support (i.e., receiving advice or information), three assess
was 859; thus, the current sample comprised 74% of the instrumental support (i.e., time, resources, financial sup-
entire student body. The participants were approximately port), and three assess appraisal support (i.e., feedback). In
half male (49%, n = 311) and half female (51%, n = 325). addition to rating the frequency with which they perceive
The sample was racially and ethnically diverse with 52% these support behaviors, students also rate the importance
White (n = 334), 18% Hispanic (n = 117), 2% African of those behaviors to them (from 1-not important to 3-very
American (n = 13), 10% Asian American (n = 65), 15% important); however, only frequency ratings were used in
Biracial (n = 93), and 1% reporting their ethnicity as the current study. In addition, although the School Support
‘‘Other’’ or missing (n = 9). One-fifth of the students subscale is typically used to assess support from the school
reported receiving reduced meals at school (20%, as a whole, the current study focused specifically on per-
n = 130). ceived support from all adult school personnel other than
teachers for purposes of the school assessment.
Behavioral Assessment Scale for Children—Edition 2,
These data were taken from a school-wide assessment of Adolescent Version (BASC-2 SRP-A; Reynolds and
bullying, and academic and social-emotional outcomes in Kamphaus 2004)
this school at two time points: Time 1 was taken in the fall
after one month of school, and Time 2 was taken in the The BASC Self Report of Personality (SRP) is a 176-item
spring, within one month of the end of the school year. A rating scale that measures the personality and self-percep-
subset of surveys administered for the school assessment tions of children and adolescents ages 12–21 (Reynolds and
were utilized in the current investigation, including the Kamphaus 2004). Students respond to statements regarding
Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS; their adjustment and behavior in either a ‘‘true’’ or ‘‘false’’
Malecki et al. 2003) and Social Support Scale for Children format or in a four-point Likert rating. The normative
(SSSC; Harter 1985) from Time 1, and the Behavioral sample for the BASC-2 SRP-A consisted of 1,900 students
Assessment Scale for Children—Edition 2, Adolescent aged 12–18 years. The sample was stratified in terms of

52 J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61

gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and parent educa- tested using confirmatory factor analysis with Mplus soft-
tion level. Internal consistency for the 16 subscales ranged ware (Muthén and Muthén 1998). A two-group approach,
from .67 to .89, and test-retest reliability ranged from .63 to which constrained the intercepts and path loadings to be
.84. Validity information for the BASC-2 was supported equal across groups and allowed the residual variances to
via intercorrelations, factor analyses, and correlations with freely vary, was used to test for invariance of factor struc-
other measures. For more detailed information on the ture across gender. Four indices were used to test the fit of
psychometric support for the BASC-2, see the manual the competing models. The Chi-square fit index (v2) was
(Reynolds and Kamphaus 2004). The following subscales included because it is so commonly used in the literature.
were utilized as outcome measures: Depression (measures However, it is a very conservative test and prone to Type II
depressed, negative affect, sadness, and loneliness), Anxi- error (Vandenberg and Lance 2000). Thus, the comparative
ety (measures fear, nervousness, and worrisome behavior), fit index (CFI), root mean square error of approximation
Self-Esteem (measures global self-satisfaction) and Atti- (RMSEA), and standardized root mean square residual
tude to School (measures opinions about school usefulness, (SRMR) were also included. A CFI value greater than or
comfort with school, and school-related matters; higher equal to .90, RMSEA value less than or equal to .08, and
scores indicate more negative attitude). SRMR value less than or equal to .10 indicate an adequate
fit to the data (Vandenberg and Lance 2000).
Social Support Scale for Children (SSSC; Harter 1985) The 60 items of the CASSS were parceled into manifest
variables based on source and type of support: Item parcels
The SSSC is a 24-item rating scale commonly used to were created using the three items tapping each of the four
measure perceived social support and positive regard to types of support (i.e., emotional, informational, appraisal,
children and adolescents. The measure assesses four dis- and instrumental support), for each of the five sources (i.e.,
tinct sources of support: Parent, Teacher, Classmate, and parent, teacher, classmate, friend, school). The following
Friend. Children and adolescents are asked to read two competing models were tested: (1) One-factor model rep-
statements and decide which one is more like them. For resenting global support had all manifest variables loading
example, ‘‘Some kids have parents who don’t really onto one latent construct; (2) Five-factor model repre-
understand them BUT Other kids have parents who really senting the five distinct sources; (3) Four-factor model
do understand them.’’ Then, they are to decide if the representing the four distinct types of support; and (4)
statement is sort of true or really true of them. The SSSC Two-level hierarchical model representing both global
has evidence of both validity and reliability (see Harter support at the higher level, and the five sources of support
1985 for further details). In the current sample, the internal at the lower level. Results showed that neither the one-
consistency reliability was strong (alphas = .88, .83, .79, factor nor the four-factor models provided an adequate fit
.71, .81 for Total, Parent, Teacher, Classmate, and Friend to the data. However, the five-factor model based on the
scale scores, respectively). The SSSC was used in the sources of support, and the two-level model representing
current study to provide validity evidence for the CASSS. the five sources, with an overarching global support con-
struct, provided adequate fit to the data (Table 1). These
Grade Point Average results provide support for the use of the source subscale
scores as well as the use of the total support score with both
The end of the year grade point average (GPA) was cal- boys and girls.
culated (based on the 4-point scale; A = 4 to F = 0) by Internal consistency reliability of the total support score
averaging the four quarter grades from the official records and the five subscales of the CASSS were tested with
in the following five subjects: English, Math, Social Cronbach’s alphas, and were found to be in the very strong
Studies, Science, and Reading. to excellent range for both boys and girls (Nunnally and
Bernstein 1994; see Table 2 for alphas, as well as means
and standard deviations of CASSS subscale scores, by
Results gender). In addition, the intercorrelations among CASSS
source subscale scores were investigated and were found to
Preliminary Analyses be moderate in magnitude for both boys (r’s ranged from
.38 to .63) and girls (r’s ranged from .44 to .62), with
Psychometric Support for the CASSS correlations between School and Classmates’ support
subscales, being moderate to large in magnitude (r’s = .67
Prior to the main study analyses, preliminary analyses on and .74 for boys and girls, respectively). These results
the CASSS were conducted to add to the psychometric suggest that the subscales are measuring related but distinct
support for the measure. The underlying structure was constructs.

J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61 53

Table 1 Fit indices for four models from a confirmatory factor analysis of the CASSS
v2 (df)/p CFI RMSEA SRMR

Model 1 I: Global social support 2506.43 (359)/.00 .78 .12 .08

Model 2 I: Parent 1177.43 (335)/.00 .91 .08 .06
II: Teacher
III: Classmate
IV: Friend
V: School
Model 3 I: Emotional 2431.65 (344)/.00 .79 .12 .08
II: Informational
III: Appraisal
IV: Instrumental
Model 4 Level 1: Global support 1292.76 (345)/.00 .90 .08 .06
Level 2: Five sources
Note: CFI, comparative fit index; RMSEA, root mean square error of approximation; SRMR, standardized root mean square residual

Table 2 Means, standard deviations, and alphas for the CASSS and BASC-2 subscale scores by gender, and tests of significance for gender
differences in CASSS scores
Boysa Girlsb Significance test
c c
M SD a M SD a Fd p

Parent 55.76wx 10.39 .90 55.66 11.15 .92 .01 .906
Teacher 56.93w 9.99 .89 59.37 8.95 .89 10.51 .001
Classmate 45.94y 11.95 .91 51.02z 11.70 .92 29.36 .000
Close friend 53.80x 12.74 .93 61.90 9.93 .93 80.23 .000
School 46.33y 12.64 .93 50.95z 12.36 .93 21.71 .000
BASC-2 (T1)
Anxiety 47.06 9.64 .86 50.84 11.29 .85 – –
Depression 48.04 9.18 .88 49.38 10.52 .88 – –
Self-esteem 52.18 9.04 .85 46.55 12.17 .78 – –
Att: School 52.59 10.38 .82 48.88 9.91 .87 – –
BASC-2 (T2)
Anxiety 46.07 9.33 .86 50.55 10.69 .85 – –
Depression 48.05 8.81 .88 50.26 10.37 .88 – –
Self-esteem 52.19 8.77 .85 45.70 11.66 .78 – –
Att: School 51.95 9.85 .82 49.80 9.95 .87 – –
GPA 2.44 1.07 – 2.79 1.02 – – –
Note: Scores on the CASSS subscales range from 12 to 72, and scores on the BASC-2 are T-scores; CASSS mean scores which share superscripts
(w, x, y, and z) do not differ statistically from each other
n = 311
n = 325
Alpha values of the BASC-2 subscales are from the validation sample reported in the manual (Reynolds and Kamphaus 2004)
df = (1, 634)

Test-retest reliability was assessed on a subsample of for the Total, Parent, Teacher, Classmate, Close Friend,
students who responded to a follow-up mail survey and School subscale scores, respectively, and for girls,
(n = 47) within two months of the initial data collection; r’s = .81, .77, .74, .65, .38, .72. In addition, the corre-
the correlations were moderate to large in magnitude sponding scores of the CASSS and SSSC (Harter 1985)
(Cohen 1992): For boys, r’s = .58, .66, .64, .52, .65, .38 were strongly related: For boys, r’s = .53, .55, .48, .46, .44

54 J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61

for the Total, Parent, Teacher, Classmate, and Friend each of the source scores to each other (the adjusted p level
subscale scores, and for girls, r’s = .55, .63, .64, .49, .33. to determine significance was set to .005) found that girls
These correlations are also considered moderate to large in reported the highest level of support from close friends,
magnitude (Cohen 1992). followed by teachers, parents, classmates and school per-
sonnel. For boys, the comparison between the five subscale
Gender Differences in Perceptions of Support social support scores was also significant, Wilks’
lambda = .399, F (4, 309) = 116.27, p \ .001, indicating
A MANOVA was used to test for gender differences in significant differences among boys’ perceptions of the
mean levels of support from the various sources. The five frequency of support they obtain from different sources.
CASSS support subscale scores were entered as dependent Follow-up comparisons found that boys reported the
variables, and gender was entered as the independent var- highest level of support from teachers and parents, fol-
iable. There was a main effect of gender Wilks’ lowed by friends, school personnel and classmates. Thus,
lambda = .865, F (5, 632) = 19.65, p \ .001. Between- whereas girls perceived significantly more support from
group comparisons of the five subscales used a Bonferroni close friends than any other source, boys perceived sig-
correction procedure (the adjusted p level to determine nificantly less support from classmates than almost all
significance was set to .01), and results indicated signifi- sources (see Table 2 for patterns of statistical differences
cant differences on all subscales but the Parent subscale. between sources).
Thus, there were no significant differences between boys
and girls on mean levels of support from parents, but girls Hypothesis 1: Independent Associations Between
reported significantly higher levels of support than boys Support Sources and Adjustment
from teachers, classmates, close friends, and school per-
sonnel (see Table 2). (a) Concurrent Associations
A separate within-subjects ANOVA using a multivariate
approach was used to test within-group differences in mean Independent associations of each source of support on
levels of support from the various sources for girls and psychological and academic adjustment were investigated
boys. For girls, the comparison between the five subscale using zero-order correlations (Table 3). Perceived support
scores (Parent, Teacher, Classmate, Close Friend, and from all sources at Time 1 was significantly related to three
School) was significant, Wilks’ lambda = .388, F (4, of four outcomes at Time 1 for both boys and girls. More
321) = 126.35, p \ .001, indicating significant differences specifically, support from parents, teachers, classmates,
among girls’ perceptions of the frequency of support they close friends, and other adults in the school had small to
obtain from different sources. Follow-up comparisons, moderate concurrent associations (Cohen 1992) with
which used a Bonferroni correction procedure to compare depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and attitude toward

Table 3 Correlations between the CASSS and BASC-2 subscale scores by gender
Subscales Boysa Girlsb

Time 1
Anxiety -.15** -.03 -.22** -.07 -.07 -.20** -.12* -.13* -.10 -.18**
Depression -.42** -.16** -.38** -.25** -.25** -.46** -.24** -.28** -.30** -.31**
Self-esteem .37** .16** .28** .29** .20** .40** .28** .31** .24** .36**
Att: School -.29** -.31** -.28** -.19** -.26** -.38** -.38** -.32** -.27** -.39**
Time 2
Anxiety -.05 .01 -.07 -.03 .01 -.19** -.16** -.13* -.14* -.15**
Depression -.18** -.01 -.18** -.11 -.10 -.30** -.20** -.22** -.18** -.21**
Self-esteem .16** .02 .18** .17** .14* .28** .20** .18** .13* .22**
Att: School -.10 -.16** -.15** -.08 -.08 -.31** -.26** -.23** -.23** -.29**
GPA .15** .05 .05 .09 .02 .29** .12* .20** .17** .15**
Note: P, T, C, F, S = Support from Parent, Teacher, Classmate, Close Friend, and School, respectively
n = 313
n = 325
* p \ .05; ** p \ .01

J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61 55

school in the predicted direction, which supported attitude toward school (z = 1.94, p \ .06). All of these
Hypothesis 1a. Associations with anxiety were smaller for longitudinal associations were stronger for girls than for
both girls and boys, with some gender differences in the boys.
pattern of associations: All individual sources of support
except for support from close friends were significantly
Hypothesis 2: Unique Associations Between Support
associated with anxiety for girls, whereas parental and
Sources and Adjustment
classmates’ support were significantly associated with
anxiety for boys. A statistical comparison of these gender
(a) Concurrent Associations
differences using Fisher’s z test for independent correla-
tions (Cohen and Cohen 1983) demonstrated no significant
The relationships between perceived support from multiple
gender differences in these relationships. Thus, overall,
sources and adjustment were further investigated for the
these results demonstrated consistency across gender when
unique effects of each source of support, above and beyond
investigating concurrent associations among sources of
the other sources using multiple regression analyses. For
support and psychological and academic adjustment.
each regression, the five CASSS source subscales from
Time 1 were entered together to predict one of the four
(b) Longitudinal Associations
BASC-2 subscales from Time 1. These analyses were
performed separately on the male and female subsamples
More gender differences became evident when investigat-
in order to compare these relationships across gender
ing longitudinal associations. In addition to the four
(Table 4). Results supported Hypothesis 2a, and found that
outcomes investigated concurrently, end of the year grade
support from parents and classmates was uniquely associ-
point average (GPA) was included in the longitudinal
ated with depressive symptoms and self-esteem. More
analyses as another measure of academic adjustment.
specifically, parental support was a significant unique
Although the associations between support and outcomes
predictor of all four outcomes, and teacher support was a
were attenuated over time, all sources of support continued
significant unique predictor of a better attitude toward
to be significantly related to all outcomes for girls in the
school for both boys and girls. However, classmates’ sup-
predicted direction. However, for boys, fewer longitudinal
port was a significant unique predictor of all four outcomes
associations between support and outcomes remained sig-
for boys but not girls. In addition, school support signifi-
nificant (see Table 3). Most notably, for boys, support from
cantly predicted higher self-esteem in girls but not boys.
parents and classmates no longer predicted anxiety, support
The effect size for the unique variance of individual
from parents no longer predicted attitude toward school,
sources, i.e., the squared semi-partial correlation, was small
support from teachers no longer predicted depressive
for all analyses (Cohen 1992). Differences in the concur-
symptoms or self-esteem, and support from close friends
rent unique effects of sources between boys and girls were
and school personnel no longer predicted depressive
tested by statistically comparing the regression coefficients
symptoms and attitude toward school. These results sup-
from the two subsamples (Cohen and Cohen 1983). The
ported Hypothesis 1b for girls, which predicted that support
unique effect of classmates’ support on anxiety and
from parents, teachers and classmates would continue to
depressive symptoms was statistically different between
predict depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and attitude
boys and girls (z = 2.92 and 2.95, respectively, p \ .01 for
toward school longitudinally, and partially supported this
both); the unique effect for both was significantly greater
hypothesis for boys.
for boys than girls.
These gender differences in longitudinal associations
were tested for statistical significance with Fisher’s z test
for independent correlations (Cohen and Cohen 1983). The (b) Longitudinal Associations
results demonstrated statistically significant differences in
the longitudinal relationships between parental support Five more regression analyses were conducted with lon-
with attitude toward school (z = 2.78, p \ .01), teacher’s gitudinal data in order to test the robustness of the unique
support with anxiety (z = 2.15, p \ .05), depressive effects over time. In addition to anxiety, depressive
symptoms (z = 2.43, p \ .01) and self-esteem (z = 2.30, symptoms, self-esteem, and attitude toward school, the
p \ .05), and school’s support with anxiety (z = 2.02, year-end GPA was also tested as an outcome in this final
p \ .05) and attitude toward school (z = 2.75, p \ .01). set of analyses. Multiple regression analyses were used,
The results also showed marginally significant gender simultaneously entering the five support subscale scores
differences for the relationship between parental support from Time 1, to predict each of the five outcomes scores
with GPA (z = 1.86, p \ .07), classmates’ support with from Time 2. As with the concurrent analyses, these
GPA (z = 1.89, p \ .07) and close friends’ support with analyses were conducted separately by gender (Table 5).

56 J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61

Table 4 Regression analyses of CASSS social support subscale scores predicting psychological and academic adjustment at Time 1
BASC-2 subscales/CASSS subscales Boysa Girlsb
B SE b sr2 R2 B SE b sr2 R2

Anxiety .09** .05**

Parent -.14 .06 -.16* .02 -.16 .07 -.15* .01
Teacher .07 .07 .07 .00 .03 .09 .02 .00
Classmate -.30 .07 -.37** .06 .01 .08 .01 .00
Friend .10 .06 .13 .01 .02 .08 .02 .00
School .12 .06 .15 .01 -.12 .09 -.13 .01
Depression .25** .22**
Parent -.34 .05 -.39** .10 -.38 .06 -.41** .10
Teacher .09 .06 .10 .01 .07 .08 .06 .00
Classmate -.28 .06 -.36** .06 -.03 .06 -.03 .00
Friend .03 .05 .04 .00 -.11 .07 -.11 .01
School .07 .05 .09 .00 -.03 .07 -.03 .00
Self-esteem .18** .19**
Parent .29 .05 .33** .08 .30 .07 .28** .05
Teacher -.05 .06 -.05 .00 .01 .09 .01 .00
Classmate .13 .06 .17* .01 .05 .08 .05 .00
Friend .09 .05 .13 .01 -.01 .08 -.01 .00
School .08 .06 -.11 .01 .17 .09 .17* .01
Attitude to school .14** .21**
Parent -.16 .06 -.16* .02 -.16 .06 -.18** .02
Teacher -.19 .07 -.18** .02 -.19 .07 -.17* .02
Classmate -.15 .07 -.18* .01 -.02 .07 -.03 .00
Friend .05 .06 .06 .00 -.01 .06 -.01 .00
School .01 .07 .01 .00 -.13 .07 -.16 .01
Note: sr2 = squared semi-partial correlation
n = 313
n = 325
* p \ .05; ** p \ .01

Results supported Hypothesis 2b, and found that support Differences in the longitudinal unique effects of sources
from parents and support from classmates were significant between boys and girls were tested by statistically com-
unique longitudinal predictors of depressive symptoms and paring the regression coefficients from the two subsamples
self-esteem. However, support from classmates was a (Cohen and Cohen 1983), and none of the comparisons
unique predictor only for boys. Parental support was also a were statistically significant. However, there was a mar-
unique predictor of higher GPA for both girls and boys. ginally significant gender difference in the longitudinal
There was also continuity across gender in predicting unique effects of parental support and attitude toward
anxiety: None of the individual sources of support were school (z = 1.65, p \ .10) and classmates’ support and
unique longitudinal predictors of anxiety for either boys or attitude toward school (z = 1.62, p \ .10). Parents had a
girls. For attitude toward school, support from parents stronger unique effect on girls, and classmates had a
uniquely predicted a better school attitude for girls, stronger unique effect on boys.
whereas support from teachers did the same for boys.
Further, support from classmates was marginally signifi-
cant in uniquely predicting a better school attitude for boys. Discussion
Interestingly, support from teachers became a unique pre-
dictor of higher depressive symptoms and lower self- The current study provided evidence for the reliable and
esteem over time for boys. All longitudinal unique effects valid use of the CASSS as a measure of perceived social
were small in magnitude. support from parents, teachers, classmates, friends, and

J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61 57

Table 5 Regression analyses of CASSS social support subscale scores predicting psychological and academic adjustment at Time 2
BASC/CASSS Boysa Girlsb
B SE b sr2 R2 B SE b sr2 R2

Anxiety .02 .04**

Parent -.07 .06 -.07 .00 -.13 .07 -.14 .01
Teacher .04 .07 .04 .00 -.07 .09 -.06 .00
Classmate -.12 .07 -.15 .01 -.01 .08 -.01 .00
Friend .02 .06 .02 .00 -.05 .08 -.04 .00
School .08 .06 .11 .01 .00 .08 .00 .00
Depression .06** .10**
Parent -.16 .06 -.19** .03 -.22 .06 -.24** .04
Teacher .12 .06 .14* .01 -.04 .08 -.04 .00
Classmate -.14 .06 -.20* .02 -.10 .07 -.11 .00
Friend .01 .05 .02 .00 -.03 .07 -.03 .00
School .02 .06 .03 .00 .04 .08 .04 .00
Self-esteem .06** .09**
Parent .11 .06 .13* .01 .23 .07 .22** .03
Teacher .13 .06 -.15* .01 .05 .09 .04 .00
Classmate .09 .06 .13 .01 .02 .08 .02 .00
Friend .05 .05 .08 .00 -.06 .08 -.05 .00
School .02 .06 .03 .00 .09 .09 .09 .00
Attitude to school .04* .12**
Parent -.02 .06 -.03 .00 -.16 .06 -.18** .02
Teacher -.14 .07 -.14* .01 -.08 .08 -.07 .00
Classmate -.14 .07 -.16 .01 .02 .07 .03 .00
Friend .02 .06 .03 .00 -.05 .07 -.05 .00
School .08 .07 .10 .00 -.11 .07 -.14 .01
GPA .03 .10**
Parent .02 .01 .16* .02 .03 .01 .30** .05
Teacher .00 .01 .01 .00 -.01 .01 -.06 .00
Classmate .00 .01 .01 .00 .01 .01 .13 .01
Friend .01 .01 .07 .00 .01 .01 .06 .00
School -.01 .01 -.10 .00 -.01 .01 -.11 .00
Note: sr = squared semi-partial correlation
n = 313
n = 325
* p \ .05; ** p \ .01

school for both girls and boys in early adolescence. The question of the independent and unique associations of
confirmatory factor analysis of the CASSS in this study support sources and several important outcomes in ado-
adds to the psychometric support for this instrument. The lescence using this single measure of five sources of
current study also utilized the five source subscale scores support, which allowed for the control of error due to
and found gender differences in perceptions of support method variance.
consistent with the literature. More specifically, percep- As would be expected, results were drastically different
tions of parental support are consistent across gender, but when investigating independent effects of support versus
girls perceive more support than boys from all other unique effects of support. Questions related to independent
sources. In addition, girls perceive the most support from and unique effects of various sources of support are both
close friends relative to other sources of support, and boys important. For example, testing the independent effects of
perceive the least amount of support from classmates. Most various sources of support, i.e., by analyzing the effects of
importantly, the current study systematically addressed the each source separately (e.g., Hoffman et al. 1988), can help

58 J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61

to gain a richer and deeper understanding of how each classmates’ support on boys over time, which suggests that
particular source of support relates to adolescents’ well- boys might be at a greater risk of poorer outcomes, unless
being. Similarly, some investigations focus on only one they learn to recognize and utilize the social resources that
source of support (e.g., peer support in Moran and Ec- are available to them.
kenrode 1991; family support in Sheeber et al. 1997), There were more consistencies than differences across
which, by default, is an investigation of independent gender with regard to parental support. Concurrently,
effects. However, youth receive support from multiple perceived support from parents was a significant unique
sources, and it is important to look at the combined effect predictor of all outcomes for both boys and girls. Lon-
of those sources, i.e., by analyzing the effects of multiple gitudinally, parental support continued to uniquely predict
sources simultaneously. Relatedly, an investigation of the three of four adjustment indices from the concurrent
sources of support that are uniquely related to specific analyses (i.e., depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and
outcomes above and beyond other sources can highlight attitude toward school, but not anxiety), and also pre-
those relationships that are most important in any given dicted higher GPA at the end of the school year for girls.
domain. The results of the current study illustrate the need No other source of support served as a unique predictor
to be aware of these distinctions when comparing results for girls. For boys, parental support continued to be a
across social support studies. unique predictor of lower depressive symptoms, and
Further, a comparison of cross-sectional versus longi- higher self-esteem and GPA, but not attitude toward
tudinal analyses demonstrated greater gender differences school or anxiety. Thus, although parental support was
over time when investigating independent effects, but statistically significant in uniquely predicting more out-
limited gender differences overall when investigating comes for girls than boys, the results of the current study
unique effects. For example, there were no gender differ- are consistent with prior research (Colarossi and Eccles
ences in the concurrent, independent relationships between 2003; Demaray et al. 2005; Sheeber et al. 1997; Way and
the five social support sources and depressive symptoms, Robinson 2003), and highlight the importance of parental
self-esteem, or attitude toward school. However, gender support, above and beyond other sources of support,
differences emerged when looking at longitudinal rela- across gender.
tionships: All significant concurrent associations remained There is one important caveat about the interpretation of
significant over time for girls, but fewer associations unique effects analyses that should be highlighted. In the
remained significant over time for boys. In particular, current study, the results represent the unique variance of
support from adult sources remained significant for girls each source (parent, teacher, classmate, friend, or school
over time, but not for boys. These results support the the- personnel), when the other four sources are in the model.
oretical relationships predicted by Gilligan (1982), i.e., that However, results could be drastically different if fewer or
social support may be especially influential in the well- more sources of support were included. Thus, variations on
being of girls. Interestingly, support from classmates con- the number of sources included in a model across studies
tinued to be statistically significant over time for more could make comparisons challenging. For example, an
outcomes than any other source for boys, which highlights investigation of support from mothers, fathers, teachers,
the potential importance of the general peer group to psy- and friends failed to find significant unique effects of
chological and academic adjustment relative to other non- support from mothers or fathers in predicting increases in
familial sources for boys. self-esteem, which suggests that parents may not be as
Gender differences also emerged when looking at the influential as teachers and friends (Colarossi and Eccles
unique variance accounted for by each source of support. 2003). However, it is possible that unique effects of
Most notably, a cross-sectional pattern emerged in which parental support could be significant, if not partialed into
the unique effects of classmates’ support was statistically maternal and paternal support. While questions of the
significant for boys, but not for girls, in all domains. In unique effects of maternal and paternal support are vitally
addition, classmates’ support continued to uniquely predict important to ask, it would be misleading to compare these
lower depressive symptoms, and marginally predict a better results to another study that focused on the unique effects
school attitude over time for boys but not girls. These of parents. In general, care should be taken in interpreting
results are consistent with the literature on the importance results of unique effects analyses and comparing findings
of classmates’ support above and beyond other sources of across such studies in the literature.
support (Demaray et al. 2005; Rueger et al. in press) but
suggest that this general peer group may be more important Strengths and Limitations
to boys than to girls. Interestingly, there seems to be a
notable discrepancy between boys’ lower perception of This investigation has several strengths as well as impor-
classmates’ support and the significant effects of tant limitations that suggest directions for future research.

J Youth Adolescence (2010) 39:47–61 59

One strength of the current study was the use of the same important outcomes based on race/ethnicity, SES, or
social support measure for all sources of support, and the developmental level.
same behavioral measure for all outcomes (except for
GPA). This minimized method variance that would limit Summary
interpretations of significant differences across sources of
support or across outcomes. Another strength of the study The current study investigated the relationship between five
was the inclusion of cross-sectional and longitudinal sources of support and various adjustment outcomes con-
analyses on the same sample. This allowed for a compar- currently and over the course of a year separately for boys
ison of associations across time to test for the robustness of and girls. In addition, the study examined both independent
effects on important psychological and academic indica- and unique associations between the sources of support and
tors. Further, the diverse sample, both ethnically and socio- the students’ adjustment outcomes. In general, the inde-
economically, along with the high participation rate pendent, concurrent associations between social support
increase generalizability of findings. sources and adjustment were significant for both boys and
One limitation to the current study was the use of self- girls with no gender differences in the strength of the rela-
report assessments of both predictor and outcome variables, tionships. When examined longitudinally, these
in that shared method variance could be inflating the strength relationships continued for girls, but were less salient for
of the associations between support and adjustment. While boys. For the unique associations between social support
self-report of perceived support is essential by nature, it sources and adjustment, individual sources emerged as
would add to the literature to use a multi-informant design significant predictors for specific outcomes and varied by
by using a combination of self-report and other-report ver- gender. Most notable was the finding that support from
sions of the same behavioral outcome measure, as well as parents and the general peer group, i.e., classmates, was a
observational measures. Another limitation of the study was robust predictor of adolescent outcomes over time, with
the lack of control for prior levels of adjustment at the initial classmates’ support consistently related to outcomes for
time point in the longitudinal analyses. This was done to boys but not girls. Finally, the current study demonstrated
minimize differences in the parallel analyses of concurrent the utility of the CASSS in the study of social support from
and longitudinal data; thus, these longitudinal results should various sources and potential gender differences.
be interpreted with caution. In addition, the current inves- This investigation adds to the literature on social support
tigation followed students over the course of one year, and for children and adolescents by using concurrent and lon-
utilized data from only two time points. Future research gitudinal data to examine both independent and unique
should seek to further address questions of gender differ- effects in the associations of multiple sources of support on
ences in the effects of multiple sources of support using a several important outcomes in adolescence. The systematic
prospective design, and investigate growth curves and manner in which comparisons were made helped to clarify
growth rates over multiple time points to get a clearer picture the influence of methodological factors, such as research
of the causal relationships between support from various design and analytic strategy, leading to the mixed findings
sources and outcomes of interest. in the current literature. The current research study also
Finally, although the current sample was diverse, both provided an important next step in the understanding of
ethnically and socioeconomically, the current study did not gender differences in perceived social support from multiple
focus on any potential differences. It is possible that social sources. Future research should continue to focus on clari-
support operates differently in cultures that value rela- fying the important role that social support from multiple
tionships over independence, especially Hispanic and sources can have on adolescents’ well-being in a systematic
Asian cultures. In addition, prior research that conceptu- manner, with a consideration for issues of independent and
alized poverty as a stressor found a stress-buffering effect unique effects in the interpretation of findings, as well as in
of social support for those at high-risk based on socio- comparisons of findings across studies.
economic status (SES), but not those at low-risk (Malecki
and Demaray 2006). Relatedly, it would add to the litera-
ture to address these questions about gender differences in
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344. doi:10.1023/A:1025768504415. Author Biographies
Slavin, L. A., & Rainer, K. L. (1990). Gender differences in
emotional support and depressive symptoms among adolescents:
A prospective analysis. American Journal of Community Sandra Yu Rueger is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology
Psychology, 18, 407–421. doi:10.1007/BF00938115. program at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include
Tardy, C. H. (1985). Social support measurement. American Journal developmental psychopathology from a lifespan perspective, cogni-
of Community Psychology, 13, 187–202. doi:10.1007/BF tive vulnerability to depression, social support to children and
00905728. adolescents, and interventions in the family and schools.
Van Beest, M., & Baerveldt, C. (1999). The relationship between
adolescents’ social support from parents and from peers. Christine Kerres Malecki is an Associate Professor of Psychology
Adolescence, 34, 194–201. in the School Psychology Program, and Director of the School
Vandenberg, R. J., & Lance, C. E. (2000). A review and synthesis of Psychology Program at Northern Illinois University. Her research
the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, interests include school psychology, social support perceived by
and recommendations for organizational research. Organiza- children and adolescents, curriculum-based measurement, and inno-
tional Research Methods, 3, 4–70. doi:10.1177/1094428100 vative school psychology delivery services. Dr. Malecki obtained her
31002. Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Wall, J., Covell, K., & MacIntyre, P. D. (1999). Implications of social
supports for adolescents’ education and career aspirations. Michelle Kilpatrick Demaray is Associate Professor in the School
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 31, 63–71. doi: Psychology program at Northern Illinois University. Her research
10.1037/h0087074. interests include Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
Way, N., & Robinson, M. G. (2003). A longitudinal study of the perceived social support by children and adolescents, and school
effects of family, friends, and school experiences on the violence and bullying/victimization in schools. Dr. Demaray obtained
psychological adjustment of ethnic minority, low-SES adoles- her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
cents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 18, 324–346. doi:


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