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Who is the Parent? Predictors of 12-year-olds' Parentification Behaviors

Iplikci, Ayse Busra
Şahin Acar, Başak
The aim of this study was to examine the moderator role of gender on predicting the relationship between children’s self-construal and parentification. We hypothesized that children’s relational self-construal would predict their emotional parentification and independent self-construal would predict their instrumental parentification behaviors. We also hypothesized that this relationship would be significant for girls, but not for boys. 156 participants (78 mother-child pairs) were recruited for this study. Results showed that, when maternal attachment anxiety and avoidance were controlled, girls who described themselves as more independent, emphasized less instrumental parentification behaviors. Moreover, relational self-construal significantly predicted their emotional parentification, but only for girls. No significant difference was found for boys. These findings showed that there is a significant interaction of child’s gender and self-construal on their parentification behaviors. The findings were discussed in light of literature.