Social Relations Model Analyses of Perceived Self-Control and Trust in Families

Asuman Buyukcan-Tetik*, Catrin Finkenauer, Merel Siersema, Karin Vander Heyden, Lydia Krabbendam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


How do people know which family member is trustworthy? In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that people use their perception of a family member's self-control as an indicator of his or her trustworthiness. Eighty-four Dutch families consisting of 2 parents and 2 children completed questionnaires assessing each family member's trust in and perceived self-control of the other 3 family members. This full-family design enabled the authors to examine their hypothesis in horizontal relationships, between family members of equal status (i.e., parent-parent and sibling-sibling relationships), and vertical relationships, in which partners have unequal status (i.e., parent-child and child-parent relationships). Consistent with the hypothesis, Social Relations Model analyses showed that being perceived as having higher self-control is related to greater trustworthiness among adults and children in the large majority of horizontal and vertical relationships (10 out of 12). These findings highlight that perceived self-control is an important factor by which to gauge trustworthiness in families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marriage and the Family
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • family relationships
  • Self-control
  • Social Relations Model
  • Trust


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