The relationship between perceived social support and egocentrism among older adolescents
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This dissertation examines the relationship between perceived social support and egocentrism among older adolescents. Chapter I defines the research concern. If social support plays a significant role in the life of the adolescent, but egocentrism often alters the judgment and behavior of adolescents in a myriad of relationships, understanding why adolescents value and need social support while being generally wary of relationships and perhaps incapable of perceiving social support objectively is a relationship worthy of research. Chapter 2 begins with a presentation of the pertinent theological subjects related to social support and egocentrism. It continues with an overview of the literature related to social support, and then with regard to adolescent egocentrism. Chapter 3 explains the methodology of the study. This study examined the relationship between perceived social support and egocentrism among adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 using the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS) and the New Imaginary Audience Scale (NIAS). The survey was administered to 93 students: 55 in a private Christian high school, and 38 in a public high school. Chapter 4 analyzes the results of the study. No relationship was discovered between overall CASSS scores and NIAS scores. A statistically significant positive correlation was discovered between perceived social support from churches and NIAS scores (at P=.05). Participants especially perceived emotional support from churches. A statistically significant positive correlation was discovered between perceived social support from parents and NIAS scores, opposite what was anticipated (at p=.05). No other source of support was found to have a statistically significant relationship with NIAS scores. Private Christian school students report a substantially higher level of perceived social support from school-related sources (teachers, classmates, and other school officials) than public school students. Chapter 5 discusses the implications and applications of the research. The study is intended to aid parents, educators, and youth workers in their relationships with adolescents. It is also intended to help scholars better understand the nature of egocentric behavior in older adolescents, and explore the benefits of social support in adolescents. The results offer no clarity to the study of adolescent egocentrism, and opens doors for research pertaining to the social support churches provide adolescents.