Can family composition influence self-esteem, altruism, parental and peer attachment and views of marriage?

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Mullen, Jane
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The present study employed a cross sectional design to examine if family composition influences levels of self-esteem, altruism, parental and peer attachment and also the view on importance of marriage. A convenient sample was taken from 100 Dublin Business School students. The data collected was categorised by whether the respondent had an upbringing with none, one or two of their biological parents, age group and gender where also factored in. All participates were given a questionnaire booklet containing three strong psychometric questionnaires: The Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale (1965), The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment Scale (1987) and The Self Report Altruism Scale (1981). A Likert scale question was devised by the researcher in relation to their view on the Importance of Marriage. The results from the data supported three of the hypotheses, with adults who emerged from a one parent upbringing having lower levels of self-esteem and altruism, and holding a lesser regard for marriage. The null hypoFinal Year Project was accepted relating to parental and peer attachment as the results concluded no statistically significant difference between the different family compositions. Limitations and recommendations were suggested in this study. Author keywords: Family Composition, self-esteem, altruism, parental and peer attachment, marriage