Mediating Role of Identity Styles between Feeling Recognition and Sense of Belonging: Moderation by Family Support

  • Sara Fatima Quaid-i-Azam University
  • Jamil A. Malik National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
  • Iqra Riaz University of Kotli AJK
Keywords: Feeling recognition, autonomy support, identity styles, sense of belonging, family support.


Background. Recognition of feelings of their offspring is an essential characteristic of
parenting. Recognizing feeling of their children may help parents in understanding needs and
preferences of their children. Feeling recognition is an essential component of autonomy
support. It is hypothesized that feeling recognition by parents lead to an increase in sense of
belonging of children to their parents. The study is aimed to investigate the relationship
between feeling recognition by parents and sense of belonging in children. It was hypothesized
that the relationship is mediated by identity styles and moderated by family support.
Method. The study sample includes 500 university students (Male=244, and Female=256),
age ranging from 18 to 25 years (Mean=2.35, SD = 1.54). Data was collected from different
universities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin. Along with a detailed
demographic sheet, data was collected on Parental Autonomy Support, Identity Styles, Sense of
Belonging, and Social Support.
Results. The results showed that the effect of feeling recognition on sense of belonging is
mediated through informative, and normative identity (B = .24, p < .01; B = -.13, p < .05)
respectively. Further, results showed that indirect effect through both mediators is moderated
by family support.
Conclusion. It is concluded that with low level of family support, identity styles have no role
between feeling recognition and sense of belongings but as family support increases, feeling
recognition contribute toward both normative and informative identity styles resulting in an
increase in sense of belonging. It is recommended that family support shall be focused on
interventions tailored to increase family bonding of adolescents and young adults.


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