Internalization of values and self-esteem among Brazilian teenagers from authoritative, indulgent, authoritarian, and neglectful homes.
A variety of studies conducted in the United States on European-American families have shown that authoritative parenting is associated with higher child adjustment and psychosocial competence than authoritarian, indulgent, or neglectful parenting (Lamborn, Mounts, Steinberg, & Dornbusch, 1991; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Steinberg, Lamborn, Dornbusch, & Darling, 1992). The results of these studies have shown that high levels of warmth, responsiveness, and involvement combined with high levels of strictness, fosters optimal adjustment in Euro-American children by offering emotional support by means of responsiveness, and establishing guidelines, limits, and expectations by means of demandingness.
However, the evidence for cross-cultural validity in the associations between parenting styles and adolescent outcomes is unclear (e.g., Steinberg, Mounts, Lamborn, & Dornbusch, 1991). There is some evidence of positive influence of the authoritarian parenting style among Asian and Arab adolescents (Chao, 2001; Dwairy, Achoui, Abouserie, & Farah, 2006; Quoss & Zhao, 1995). This result has been explained by referring to the meaning that authoritarian parenting can have in Asiatic cultures. According to Grusec, Rudy, and Martini (1997) in those contexts, strict discipline is understood as beneficial for the children; both parents and children see authoritative practices as an organizational strategy that fosters harmony within the family and ensures the child's morale (Chao 1994; Ho, 1989). It has also been suggested that for Asians the authoritarian style is associated with parental concern, caring, and love (Tobin, Wu, & Davidson, 1989; Chao, 1994). On the other hand, in certain cultural contexts indulgent parenting has been associated with the same or better outcomes in adolescents than authoritative parenting. For example, in Spain (Musitu & Garcia, 2004) and Italy (Marchetti, 1997) it has been shown, using different parenting style measures (Musitu & Garcia, 2004), that adolescents with indulgent parents achieve equal or higher scores in self-esteem than do adolescents from authoritative parrents. Also in Mexico, Villalobos, Cruz, and Sanchez (2004) found no differences between adolescents from authoritative and indulgent parenting on diverse measures of competence and adjustment. It appears that in these countries high levels of parental affection, acceptance, and involvement are enough to obtain optimal adolescent adjustment, without the use of high levels of strictness. According to Triandis (1995), those countries can be categorized as horizontal collectivistic cultures (Gouveia, Albuquerque, Clemente, & Espinosa, 2002; Gouveia, Clemente, & Espinosa, 2003), which emphasize egalitarian relations instead of hierarchical, as is the case in vertical collectivistic or vertical individualistic cultures (Triandis, 1995, 2001). This could explain, that in those horizontal collectivistic countries the parents' use of strictness, which can denote a hierarchical relationship between parents and children, would not be necessary to set offspring limits, and consequently would not improve child adjustment. Instead, it is possible to obtain optimal offspring adjustment by controlling children's behavior just by means of reasoning practices which do not denote a hierarchical relationship.
In Brazil, although studies on parenting have shown that demandingness and responsiveness provide adequate and valid assessment information on parental styles of socialization (Costa, Teixeira, & Comes, 2000; Weber, Prado, Viezzer, & Brandenburg, 2004), no conclusive findings on the impact of parenting on children's outcomes have been obtained. For example, Oliveira, Marin, Pires, Frizzo, Ravanello, and Rossato (2002) found that children with authoritarian mothers display more externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors than do children with authoritative mothers, but they did not provide information about children with indulgent and negligent mothers. Weber, Brandenburg, and Viezzer (2003) found that children raised by authoritative parents are more optimistic than children raised by neglectful parents, but there were no differences between adolescents with authoritative parents and those with indulgent or authoritarian parents. Finally, Pacheco, Comes, and Teixeira (1999) found no advantages for children with authoritative parents in social skills, in comparison to children with the other types of parenting.
The aim of the present study, conducted with Brazilian teenagers, is to examine the relations between parenting styles and adolescents' internalization of the Schwartz values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, 1990) of Self-transcendence (Universalism and Benevolence) and Conservation (Security, Conformity, and Tradition) on one side and adolescent Self-esteem on the other. Self-esteem has been one of the traditional measures of adjustment in parenting studies (Barber, 1990; Barber, Chadwick, & Oerter, 1992; Felson & Zielinsky, 1989), however internalization of values has not been analyzed as much, even though some authors have stressed the importance of parenting styles in children's internalization of values (Grusec, Goodnow, & Kuczynski, 2000). Since developmental psychologists have paid special attention to the internalization of values in terms of prosocial behavior and moral standards (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994), the present study focuses on the parenting impact on adolescents' self-transcendence and conservation Schwartz values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, 1990) which are centered on consideration for others and acceptance of social norms.
Taking into account that Brazil is a country characterized by horizontal collectivism (Gouveia, Guerra, Martinez, & Paterna, 2004) where the effectiveness of reasoning, as opposed to power assertion, in some developmental areas (Camino, Camino, & Moraes, 2003) has been proven, we expect that in Brazil adolescents from authoritative parents: (1) will give higher priority to self-transcendence and conservation values and will have higher self-esteem than adolescents with authoritarian and neglectful parents, but (2) will not give higher priority to self-transcendence and conservation values and will not have higher self-esteem than adolescents with indulgent parents.
Participants in the study were 1,198 adolescents from a large metropolitan area in Northeast Brazil with over one million inhabitants. Slightly over half of the students were female (55.5%) and the average age was 16.46 (SD = 1.15), with a range of 15 to 18 years. Participants were selected from low- and middle-SES groups. The adolescents in the low-SES group (56.1%) were recruited from four public schools (parents were mostly blue-collar workers with incomes mostly below 400 U.S. dollars per month). The adolescents in the middle-SES group were recruited from five private schools in middle-class neighborhoods (tuition was more than 100 U.S. dollars per month). In Brazil, adolescents' attendance in public or private school is a clear indicator of the family's social class. All of the youngsters who received their parents' approval and were in attendance in the designated classroom for data collection were included in the study (89% response rate). Participants were administered a series of self-report questionnaires in a designated classroom during regular class periods.
ESPA29 Parental Socialization Scale (Musitu & Garcia, 2001). Adolescents reported the frequency of several parental practices (father's and mother's practices were asked about separately) in different situations with significant impact on the parent-child relationship in Western culture. Twenty-nine situations were sampled--13 adolescents' compliance situations (e.g., "If somebody comes over to visit and I behave nicely") and 16 adolescents' noncompliance situations (e.g., "If I break or ruin something at home"), to assess parental practices on a 4-point scale (1 = never, 4 = always). In each of the 13 compliance situations, offspring had to rate the parenting practices of Affection ("he/she shows affection") and Indifference ("he/she seems indifferent"). In each of the 16 noncompliance situations, offspring had to rate the parenting practices on Dialogue ("he/she talks to me"), Detachment ("it's the same to him]her"), Verbal Scolding ("he/she scolds me"), Physical Punishment ("he/she spanks me"), and Revoking Privileges ("he/ she takes something away from me"). The parenting styles were evaluated from both contextual (Darling & Steinberg, 1993) and situational (Smetana, 1995) perspectives where a total of 232 questions were asked, 116 for each parent. The family score for the Acceptance/ Involvement dimension was obtained by averaging the responses on affection, dialogue, indifference, and detachment practices of both father and mother (in the last two practices the scores were inverted because they are inversely related to the dimension). The family score for the Strictness/Imposition dimension was obtained by averaging the responses on verbal scolding, physical punishment, and revoking privileges practices of both father and mother. Hence, two dimensions measured family parental styles (see Lamborn et al., 1991; Steinberg et al., 1994) so that higher scores represent a greater sense of acceptance/ involvement and strictness/imposition (highest score on the two scales = 4).
This scale was originally validated in Spain with a sample of almost 3,000 adolescents (Musitu & Garcia, 2001) between the ages of 10 and 18 (1,596 of whom were between 15-18 years of age) and was developed to specifically assess the four types of parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful (Marchetti, 1997; Martinez, 2003; Musitu & Garcia, 2001, 2004). The factorial structure of the instrument has been confirmed in different studies (Llinares, 1998; Musitu & Garcia, 2001). To ensure that the item concepts were comparable for the Spanish version and the Portuguese translated version, back-translation methods were used. After obtaining permission from the copyright holder, the initial measure was translated from Spanish into Portuguese. Three bilingual developmental researchers discussed discrepancies in content, language, and meaning. Finally, the measure was back-translated and compared to the original Spanish version to ensure that the concepts were the same. The factorial structure of the Portuguese translated version was equivalent to the Spanish version (Martinez, 2003). Cronbach's alpha of all 232 items was .96 and by each dimension was: acceptance/involvement, 96; and strictness/imposition, .96.
Typologies. Following Lamborn et al. (1991, p. 1053) and Steinberg et al. (1994, p. 758) four parenting categories--authoritative, indulgent, authoritarian, and neglectful were defined by trichotomizing the sample with a tertile split on each dimension--acceptance/involvement and strictness/imposition--and then examining both variables simultaneously. Authoritative families (N = 163) were those who scored in the upper tertiles on both acceptance/involvement and strictness/ imposition, whereas neglectful families (N = 172) were in the lowest tertiles on both variables. Authoritarian families (N = 92) were in the lowest tertile on acceptance/involvement but in the highest tertile on strictness/imposition. Indulgent families (N = 97) were in the highest tertile on acceptance/involvement but in the lowest tertile on strictness/imposition. In order to ensure that the four groups of families represented distinct categories, families who scored in the middle tertile on either of the dimensions were excluded from the analysis. Table 1 shows that the sample families scoring in the upper or lower tertiles on the dimension variables are demographically comparable to the overall project sample. Table 2 provides information on the sizes of each of the four parenting groups as well as each group's mean and standard deviation on the acceptance/involvement and strictness/imposition dimensions.
Outcome variables. Personal adjustment of adolescents was measured with the Multidimensional Self-Esteem Scale AF5 (Garcia & Musitu, 1999). Self-esteem is one of the traditional outcome variables in parenting studies (Barber, 1990; Barber et al., 1992; Felson & Zielinsky, 1989). The AF5 scale, with 30 items, assesses self-esteem in five different domains: Academic (e.g., "I do my homework well"), Social (e.g., "I make friends easily"), Emotional (e.g., reverse scored, "Many things make me nervous"), Family (e.g., "I feel that my parents love me"), and Physical (e.g., "I take good care of my physical health"). Each domain is measured with 6 items (99-point scale); modifications were made to obtain domain scores ranging from .1 to 9.99 (Garcia & Musitu, 1999). The factorial structure of the instrument was confirmed with both exploratory (Garcia & Musitu, 1999, Martinez, 2003) and confirmatory (Garcia, Musitu, & Veiga, 2006; Tomas & Oliver, 2004) factor analyses and no method effect appears to be associated with negatively worded items (Tomas & Oliver, 2004).
The AF5 was initially developed and normed with a sample of 6,500 Spanish subjects (Garcia & Musitu, 1999) and is more comprehensive than the tools used by the majority of studies. For example, the shorter Rosenberg's Self-Esteem scale contains only 10 or 15 items (Gual, Perez-Gaspar, Martinez-Gonzalez, Lahortiga, de Irala-Estevez, & Cervera-Enguix, 2002; Martinez-Gonzalez, Gual, Lahortiga, Alonso, de Irala-Estevez, & Cervera, 2003). In the AF5 scale self-esteem is understood as multidimensional based on the Shavelson, Hubner, and Stanton's theoretical model (see, Byrne & Shavelson, 1996; Shavelson, Hubner, & Stanton, 1976). After permission was obtained from the copyright holder, the AF5 scale was adapted to Portuguese following the same back-translation protocol used for the ESPA29. Factorial analyses (Martinez, 2003) and multi-group factorial invariance analyses showed that the Portuguese version of the AF5 changes neither the original factor weights nor the variances and covariances of the factors (Garcia et al., 2006). Cronbach's alpha of all items was .80 and by each factor was: academic, .83; social, .61; emotional, .70; family, .76; and physical, .74.
Self-transcendence (universalism and benevolence) and conservation (tradition, conformity, and security) values of adolescents were measured with the Schwartz (1992) value inventory, adapted from Struch and her colleagues (Struch, Schwartz, & van der Kloot, 2002). Each of the 27 items, measuring self-transcendence and conservation values, consists of one single value accompanied by a short descriptive phrase. Participants rated the importance of each value as a guiding principle in their life using a 99-point rating scale coded from 1 (opposed to my values) to 99 (of supreme importance). The average score for the items in the standard indexes was computed by measuring the priority given to each of the five motivational types of values (Schwartz) used in this study. Modifications were made to obtain a scored index ranging from .1 to 9.99 Cronbach's alphas for the value indexes were as follows: universalism, .69; benevolence, .70; conformity, .65; tradition, .56; and security, .59. These reliabilities were within the range of variation commonly observed for these value types (e.g., Roccas, Sagiv, Schwartz, & Knafo, 2002). Schwartz's values inventory was meant to test Theory of Human Values (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987) in more than 200 samples from over 60 countries (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz & Sagiv, 1995). All of the 10 value types have been used to explain a wide range of attitudes and behaviors in many countries (Schwartz & Bardi, 2001).
Parenting Styles and Internalization of Values
Preliminary multivariate analyses. We tested possible interactions between adolescents' gender, age, and social class (indexed by the type of school) with parenting style (Aunola, Stattin, & Nurmi, 2000; Lamborn et al., 1991; Steinberg et al., 1992; Kelley, Power, & Wimbush, 1992; Steinberg et al., 1994). A MANOVA was computed between parenting style (indulgent, authoritative, authoritarian, and neglectful), gender (girls vs. boys), age (15-16 vs. 17-18 years old), and type of school (public vs. private) on the self-transcendence (universalism and benevolence) and conservation (conformity, tradition, and security) adolescents' values. The results yielded main effects of parenting styles, [LAMBDA] = .874, F(15, 1331.0) = 4.45, p < .001. No other main effects or interactions were found.
Main univariate effects of parenting styles. Five follow-up univariate analyses (ANOVAs, see Table 3) indicated that parenting styles had statistically significant main effects for all the self-transcendence and conservation values. As shown in Table 3, adolescents from authoritative and indulgent homes give higher priority to universalism, benevolence, and conformity values than do adolescents from authoritarian or neglectful homes. Adolescents from neglectful families scored lower in those value types than adolescents from authoritarian homes. Higher priority to tradition values was reported by adolescents from indulgent and authoritative families (who do not differ from each other) than by adolescents from authoritarian homes. Finally, adolescents with authoritative parents scored higher in security values than adolescents with authoritarian and neglectful parents, whereas adolescents with indulgent parents differ from adolescents with authoritarian parents who had the lowest score in security values.
Parenting Styles and Self-esteem
Preliminary multivariate analyses. A MANOVA was computed between parenting style (indulgent, authoritative, authoritarian, and neglectful), gender (girls vs. boys), age (15-16 vs. 17-18 years old), and type of school (public vs. private) on the five self-esteem dimensions (academic, social, emotional, family, and physical). Results yielded main effects of parenting styles, [LAMBDA] = .756, F(15, 1355.8) = 9.63, p < .001, and gender, [LAMBDA] = .906, F(5, 491.0) = 10.20, p < .001; and the interaction between gender and type of school, [LAMBDA] = .975, F(5, 491.0) = 2.48, p < .031. No other main effects or interactions were found.
Univariate effects of demographic variables. Although not central to this investigation, follow-up univariate analyses (ANOVAs) for the interaction between gender and type of school did not show significant effects for any self-esteem dimension. Follow-up univariate analyses (ANOVAs) for gender, F(1, 495) = 7.43, p = .007, indicated that girls, M = 7.21, SD = 1.84, reported higher academic self-esteem than did boys, M = 6.67, SD = 1.88; but boys reported higher emotional, M = 5.50, SD = 1.91 vs. M = 4.66, SD = 1.97, F(1, 495) = 16.92, p < .001, family, M = 7.77, SD = 1.64 vs. M = 7.39, SD = 2.14, F(1, 495) = 5.79, p = .016, and physical self-esteem, M = 6.70, SD = 1.96 vs. M = 6.29, SD = 1.98, F(1, 495) = 7.05, p = .008, than did girls.
Main univariate effects of parenting styles. Five follow-up univariate analyses (ANOVAs, see Table 4) indicated that parenting styles had statistically significant main effects for all self-esteem dimensions, although the post hoc Bonferroni analyses did not show any differences for emotional self-esteem. As shown in Table 4, adolescents from authoritative and indulgent homes--who did not differ from each other--had higher academic self-esteem than adolescents from authoritarian or neglectful families. Social self-esteem, however, differed only between adolescents from indulgent and authoritarian homes, who had the lowest social self-esteem. The family self-esteem of adolescents from indulgent families was higher than that of adolescents from the other family types, although family self-esteem in authoritative homes was also higher than in authoritarian and neglectful homes. Adolescents from authoritarian families had the lowest level of family self-esteem. Finally, adolescents from indulgent homes had higher physical self-esteem than adolescents from authoritarian
or neglectful families; moreover adolescents from authoritative families also scored higher than adolescents from authoritarian families in physical self-esteem.
The findings of this study show, in a sample of Brazilian teenagers, differences between parenting styles of socialization on two different adolescent outcomes: internalization of self-transcendence and conservation values and self-esteem. First, we confirmed that adolescents from authoritative families place a higher priority on the five value types analyzed--universalism, benevolence, conformity, tradition, and security--than do adolescents from neglectful and authoritarian families, but there were no differences between adolescents from indulgent and authoritative families in the priority given to any of these five value types. Both indulgent and authoritative parenting were associated with the highest teenagers' priority on the values analyzed, whereas authoritarian parenting was associated with the lowest priority. Second, Brazilian adolescents from authoritative parents had higher academic and family self-esteem than adolescents from neglectful families. However, adolescents with indulgent parents have higher family self-esteem and do not differ in academic, social, and physical self-esteem from adolescents raised by authoritative parents. In short, authoritative parenting is associated with better outcomes in adolescents than authoritarian and neglectful parenting, whereas adolescents from indulgent homes do not differ in self-transcendence and conservation values and have the same or higher scores on self-esteem than adolescents from authoritative homes.
This study supports the results from some studies which question that the association between authoritative parenting and optimum adolescents' outcomes can be generalized to any ethnic or cultural context (e.g., Chao, 1994, 2001; Darling & Steinberg, 1993; Dornbusch, Ritter, Leiderman, Roberts, & Fraleigh, 1987; Dwairy et al., 2006; Kim & Rhoner, 2002; Musitu & Garcia, 2004; Quoss & Zhao, 1995; Steinberg et al., 1991). Specifically this research supports studies in which it has been found that indulgent parenting is associated with the same or better outcomes in adolescents than authoritative parenting (e.g., Kim & Rhoner, 2002). This is the case for studies carried out in some Southern European countries such as Spain (Musitu & Garcia, 2004) and Italy (Marchetti, 1997), and also in South American countries such as Mexico (Villalobos et. al., 2004).
Several authors have suggested that the same parenting practices can be associated with different objectives of socialization (Rao, McHale, & Pearson, 2003) and that the meaning of the socialization practices can be different according to culture (Grusec et al., 1997; Kim & Rohner, 2002). It seems that in a horizontal collectivistic country such as Brazil (Gouveia et al., 2004), where emphasis is placed on egalitarian relations (Triandis, 1995, 2001), instead of those that are hierarchical as in the United States--characterized by vertical individualism--or Asian cultures-characterized by vertical collectivism--parents' use of strictness and imposition is not necessary to obtain greater internalization of self-transcendence and conservation values and optimal self-esteem in adolescents. Therefore, strictness practices must not have the same positive meaning in the Brazilian culture as it does in the European-American context. Instead the parents use acceptance and involvement expressed by such practices as affection and dialogue which can be enough to obtain optimal teenagers' outcomes in the internalization of those values and self-esteem. The result is consistent with previous research in Brazil which has shown that the use of reasoning practices is more effective than the use of power assertion in child developmental outcomes such as moral reasoning (Camino et al., 2003).
Finally, two considerations need to be taken into account. First, the results may have been influenced by the fact that youngsters reported on their parents' behavior, although some authors have found similar results in parenting research when the parents carried out the assessment themselves (Aunola et al., 2000; Kim, 2001). Second, the study was cross-sectional and hence did not provide the possibility of testing causal hypotheses; therefore in the absence of longitudinal or experimental data, those findings must be viewed as preliminary. It is possible that adolescents' outcomes influence their parents' child-rearing styles and vice versa (see Maccoby, 2000). In any case, antecedent or consequence, this study reinforces research showing that the relationship between parenting styles and adolescents' outcomes indicates cultural differences that need to be taken into consideration in future research.
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Requests for reprints should be sent to Isabel Martinez, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Departamento de Psicologia, Avda. de los Alfares, 44, 16071 Cuenca (Spain). E-mail: MIsabel.Martinez@uclm.es
Jose Fernando Garcia, University of Valencia, Spain.
Table 1 Comparison of Demographic Characteristics of Total Sample (N = 1198) Versus Study Sample (N = 529) Total Sample Study Sample Gender Girls 55.5 55.0 Boys 44.5 45.0 Age group 15-16 years old 52.1 51.4 17-18 years old 47.9 48.6 Type of school Public 56.1 56.5 Private 43.9 43.5 Table 2 Numbers of Cases in Parenting Style Groups, and Mean Scores and Standard Deviations on Measures of Parental Acceptance/Involvement and Strictness /Imposition Authori- Authori- Neg- Total Indulgent tative tarian lectful Frequency 529 97 163 97 172 Percent 100 18.3 30.8 18.3 32.5 Acceptance/ Involvement Mean 3.18 3.657 3.668 2.771 2.687 SD .533 .179 .166 .290 .284 Strictness/ Imposition Mean 1.754 1.412 2.123 2.132 1.384 SD .419 .141 .222 .396 .145 Note. Scores on the acceptance/involvement and strictness/imposition scales could range from 1 to 4. Listwise selection of cases (N = 529) Table 3 Means, (standard deviations), F values, probabilities of a Type I Error, and Post Hoc Procedure of Bonferroni ([alpha] = .05; 1 > 2 > 3 > 4; a > b) for the Four Typologies of parenting across Adolescents' Value Priorities for Self-Transcendence and Conservation Values Indulgent Authoritative Self-Transcendence Universalism 8.86 (.88) (1) 8.64 (1.05) (1) Benevolence 9.08 (.95) (1) 8.85 (1.17) (1) Conservation Conformity 8.91 (1.23) (1) 8.70 (1.19) (1) Tradition 7.85 (1.66) (1) 7.68 (1.55) (1) Security 8.58 (1.13) (a) 8.68 (1.12) (1) Authoritarian Neglectful Self-Transcendence Universalism 7.82 (1.61) (3) 8.28 (1.20) (2) Benevolence 7.89 (1.77) (3) 8.45 (1.23) (2) Conservation Conformity 7.58 (2.17) (3) 8.18 (1.53) (2) Tradition 6.85 (1.82) (2) 7.34 (l.49) Security 7.42 (2.11) (3b) 8.17 (1.26) (2) F (3, 486) p Self-Transcendence Universalism 10.89 <.001 Benevolence 15.38 <.001 Conservation Conformity 14.54 <.001 Tradition 7.63 <.001 Security 14.74 <.001 Table 4 Means, (standard deviations), F values, probabilities of a Type I Error, and Post Hoc Procedure of Bonferroni ([alpha] = .05; 1 > 2 > 3 > 4; a > b) for the Four Typologies of parenting across Dimensions of Self-esteem Indulgent Authoritative Authoritarian Academic 7.39 (1.58) (1) 7.33 (1.74) (1) 6.35 (2.16) (2) Social 7.45 (1.41) (1) 7.33 (l.60) 6.84 (1.65) (2) Emotional 5.37 (2.06) 4.80 (l.89) 4.83 (2.13) Family 8.87 (1.09) (1) 7.93 (1.56) (2) 6.02 (2.42) (4) Physical 7.07 (1.69) (1) 6.70 (2.00) (a) 6.26 (2.36) (2) Neglectful F(3, 495) p Academic 6.73 (1.88) (2) 8.54 <.001 Social 7.19 (l.52) 4.08 .007 Emotional 5.18 (l.91) 3.10 .027 Family 7.33 (1.70) (3) 41.62 <.001 Physical 6.04 (1.77) (2b) 7.87 <.001
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|Author:||Martinez, Isabel; Garcia, Jose Fernando|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2008|
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