Mother-Adolescent Parentification, Enmeshment and Adolescents’ Intimacy: The Mediating Role of Rejection Sensitivity

Limor Goldner, Shira Carren Sachar, Ayelet Abir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The contribution of mother-adolescent parentification and enmeshment to adolescents’ ability to establish an intimate same-sex non-romantic best friend relationship as a function of rejection sensitivity were examined in a sample of 334 Israeli early and mid-adolescents using partial Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients and a mediation model. The bivariate correlation demonstrated, contrary to expectations, that both mother-adolescent parentification and enmeshment was positively correlated with adolescents’ intimacy. However, as expected, angry expectations and expectations of rejection were negatively correlated with adolescents’ intimacy. The mediation model indicated that mother-adolescent parentification was positively correlated with adolescents’ rejection sensitivity, which was negatively correlated with adolescents’ intimacy. Rejection sensitivity fully mediated the link between mother-adolescent parentification and adolescents’ intimacy. By contrast and again contrary to expectations, the direct path between mother-adolescent enmeshment and adolescents’ intimacy was significantly and positively correlated. The discussion centers on the theoretical implications of rejection sensitivity as a mechanism through which parentification with the mother impedes adolescents’ development of intimacy in the context of Israeli society.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)192-201
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Enmeshment
  • Intimacy
  • Parentification
  • Rejection sensitivity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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