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04-09-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2020

Associations between Parental Psychological Control and Externalizing Problems: The Roles of Need Frustration and Self-control

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2020
Auteurs:
Lu Bai, Yan Liu, Shiyuan Xiang
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Abstract

Our study aimed to develop our understanding of the relationship between parental psychological control and externalizing behaviors among adolescents. We investigated the fit of a theoretical model in which need frustration and self-control were specified as sequential mediators between parental psychological control and externalizing behaviors. A sample of Chinese adolescents and their parents participated in the research. These seventh and ninth graders (n = 1118, mean age = 14.52 years, SD = 1.65) reported perceived maternal and paternal psychological control, and reported their own experience of need frustration and self-rated levels of self-control. Externalizing problems were rated by both parents. The results of structural equation modeling revealed analogous structural associations between perceived maternal and paternal psychological control and externalizing problems. Overall, psychological control was directly associated with externalizing behaviors in the maternal model (β = 0.24, p < 0.01) and paternal model (β = 0.26, p < 0.01). Parental psychological control was associated exclusively and sequentially with externalizing behaviors via need frustration and self-control (for the maternal model: β = 0.13, p < 0.05, 95% CI = [0.02, 0.24]; for the paternal model: β = 0.13, p < 0.05, 95% CI = [0.02, 0.24]). By introducing need frustration and self-control as intervening factors and by demonstrating their sequential effects, our study helps to clarify the mechanisms underlying the links between parental psychological control and externalizing problems.

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