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Title page for ETD etd-06152018-111439

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Frazier, Cleothia G.
URN etd-06152018-111439
Title Psychological Well-being in Young Adults: The Enduring Effects of Child Adversity on Self-concept
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
C. André Christie-Mizell, Ph.D. Committee Chair
Lijun Song, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • child adversity
  • stress process model
  • self-concept
Date of Defense 2018-08-10
Availability unrestricted
Using the stress process model and symbolic interaction, I investigate the relationship between childhood adversity and self-concept in young adults. I also examine if this relationship varies by religiosity. Data for this study comes from the National Survey of Youth – Child and Young adult sample (N=1,401). This research expands the literature regarding the long term effects of exposure to adversity in childhood. I demonstrate that the relationship between childhood adversity and self-concept is curvilinear. The effects of exposure to adverse events before age 18 endures into young adulthood, decreasing both mastery and self-esteem. Religiosity moderates the relationship between childhood adversity and mastery such that higher religious attendance reduces the harmful influence of childhood adversity on mastery. The findings stress the importance of developing a robust self-concept early in the life course, which enables young adults effectively deal with past stressful events through an internalization of a sense of control and self-worth.
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