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Family Matters: The Importance of Mattering to Family in Adolescence

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6242-5
288 pages
January 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Family Matters: The Importance of Mattering to Family in Adolescence  (1405162422) cover image
Combining empirical evidence with indices to measure mattering, Family Matters: The Importance of Mattering to Family in Adolescence explores the inverse relationship between mattering and dysfunctional behavior in adolescence.
  • Defines mattering and distinguishes among the three ways that people can matter to others: awareness, importance, and reliance
  • Utilizes empirical evidence from a quantitative analyses of data from a nationwide survey 2,004 adolescents to support author’s assertions
  • Explores the impact of structural and demographic factors such as family structure in developing of a sense of mattering in adolescents.
  • Includes helpful indices, including his Mattering Index and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Index
  • Suggests how parents, teachers, and other significant people in the lives of adolescents can work to instill a sense of mattering in those under their care
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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. What Does It Mean to Matter?

2. Mattering Matters.

3. Researching Mattering: An Overview.

4. Mattering and Anti-Social Behavior.

5. Mattering and Self-Destructive Behavior.

6. Inducing Mattering.

Appendix: Researching Mattering: A Scientific View.

References.

Index.

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Gregory C. Elliott is Associate Professor of Sociology at Brown University. A social psychologist, his research focuses on the self and its relation to social systems. He teaches courses in social psychology, the self and society, and methods and statistics. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association. He has also been a Consultant for the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
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  • Defines mattering and distinguishes among the three ways that people can matter to others: awareness, importance, and reliance
  • Utilizes empirical evidence from a quantitative analyses of data from a nationwide survey 2,004 adolescents to support author’s assertions
  • Explores the impact of structural and demographic factors such as family structure in developing of a sense of mattering in adolescents
  • Includes helpful indices, including his Mattering Index and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Index
  • Suggests how parents, teachers, and other significant people in the lives of adolescents can work to instil a sense of mattering in those under their care
See More
"I enjoyed reading Family Matters and the first research findings drawn from a large sample. The chapters summarizing what mattering is and how it motivates behavior provide a nice overview for uninitiated readers...this book helps highlight a construct that may be important for family researchers and hopefully will help encourage others to consider engaging in research to fill in the many gaps in our knowledge about mattering." (Journal of Family Theory & Review, Autumn 2010)

"This book is recommended for social psychologists, sociologists, psychologists, and social workers. I found it thought provoking and would like to see items on mattering added to large-scale surveys. Readers are likely to think of instances of how not mattering has mattered in their own lives." (International Journal of Sociology of the family, Autumn 2010)
 

“Nothing may matter more for the healthy development of young people than a belief that they matter: that they are valued by others and that they can make meaningful contributions to their world. More so than any other book, Family Matters explains the crucial role of mattering in the lives of adolescents. Gregory Elliott’s unique, timely, and compelling scholarship has vital implications for research and applications aimed at promoting positive youth development, and is of profound importance for enhancing the quality of family life in America.”–Richard Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science, Director of Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Eliot Pearson Department of Child Development, Tufts University

“This thoughtful and entertaining book introduces an important new concept to the psychology of interpersonal relations. People need to eat and sleep, to love, and to belong, but they also need to matter to others. Drawing from popular culture, personal experience, and scientific research, Gregory Elliott has provided a marvelous introduction to understanding why mattering matters.”–Roy F. Baumeister, Social Psychology Area Director and Francis Eppes Eminent Scholar, Florida State University, and author of The Cultural Animal

“Elliott has given us a very important and timely book. Today’s youth are in tremendous need of the opportunity to feel like they matter. Elliott’s analyses demonstrate the importance of feeling like one matters to one’s family for healthy functioning during adolescence. He also provides us with a stimulating theoretical discussion of the importance of mattering and the ways in which it is supported by social experience. This book should be of great interest to parents, educators, policy makers, and researchers.”–Jacquelynne Eccles, McKeachie Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Women’s Studies, and Education, University of Michigan

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