The relationship between caregivers’ gender equality norms and girls’ need satisfaction and self-esteem under conditions of resource scarcity

Marieke Christina van Egmond*, Tariq Omarshah, Andres Navarrete Berges, Jennifer Benton, Umba Zalira, Fiona Morrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As key socialization figures in children’s lives, caregivers play an important role in the nurturing of children’s psychological needs. Parental conditional regard, in which parental regard is dependent on the child’s adherence to norms and behavioral expectations, has been shown to thwart need satisfaction, which is detrimental to developmental outcomes, including self-esteem. In order to advance our knowledge of the universality of this pattern of results, we investigate whether these findings hold in an environment different from that of the majority of previous studies: rural Malawi. First, need satisfaction is found to matter for adolescent girls’ self-esteem in this context, regardless of the level of resource scarcity they are exposed to. However, parental conditional regard on the basis of gender norms is negatively related to the satisfaction of the needs for relatedness and competence. Parental gender equality beliefs show a stronger relationship with autonomy (independence orientation) under conditions of high resource scarcity than under relatively low levels of scarcity. Lastly, a multiple mediation analysis shows that need satisfaction partially mediates the relationship between parental gender equality beliefs and self-esteem. Theoretical as well as practical implications of these findings for basic psychological need theory as well as implications for needs-based interventions in international development settings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-269
Number of pages13
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gender equality
  • Parental conditional regard
  • Resource scarcity
  • Self-esteem
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

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