Differentiation of Self and Hope Mediated by Resilience: Gender Differences


  • Masoud Sadeghi
  • Usha Barahmand
  • Somaye Roshannia




The intent of the present study was to examine the associations among differentiation of self, resilience and hope. Extending Bowen’s family systems theory to adolescents in a middle eastern culture, we anticipated age and gender-based differences in the level of the constructs as well as in the associations among them. Employing a multistage cluster sampling procedure, a sample of 300 adolescents (132 girls and 168 boys) ranging in age from 14 to 19 years old (M = 16.36 years; SD = 1.24) were recruited from junior and senior high schools in Khoramabad. Data were collected through self-report measures, Differentiation of Self Inventory, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and Snyder Hope Scale, and analyzed via descriptive statistics, correlations and bootstrap analyses. Higher scores of differentiation were related to greater resilience and hope. Scores on I-position, emotional cutoff and fusion with others were also associated with resilience and hope. Age and gender differences emerged in certain components of differentiation. However, a moderated mediation analysis revealed no moderating effects of age and gender in the association between differentiation and resilience. Separate gender based bootstrapping results for mediation highlighted the specific indirect paths that resilience has in the relationship between I-position and hope in adolescent boys and between emotional closeness (low emotional cutoff) and hope in adolescent girls. Findings are discussed with regard to the cross-cultural validity of Bowen family systems theory.