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05-07-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2016

Effects of Parental Psychological Control on Child’s School Life: Mobile Phone Dependency as Mediator

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2016
Suhyun Lee, Kangyi Lee, Soon-Hyung Yi, Hye Jun Park, Yea-Ji Hong, Hyerhim Cho


Ecological view of human development calls for an investigation of multiple contexts surrounding children. In South Korea, traditional Confucianism and recent technological advancements serve as influential social and cultural contexts that affect parent–child relations and child development. High levels of parental control and strong emphasis on academic achievement have long been distinctive features of Korean parenting practices, which are attributable to Confucian values. Additionally, Korean children’s mobile phone dependency (MPD) has become a growing concern, as South Korea developed as an IT powerhouse. Combined, these contexts resulted in high parental control of children’s mobile phone use, so that such electronic devices would not hinder learning and achievement. Effects of high parental control on children’s MPD and their school life, however, have yet to be discovered. We hypothesized, that, unlike parents’ intentions, psychological control is more likely to increase MPD and disrupt school life. To examine this research model, we made use of the first and third wave data from Korea Children and Youth Panel Survey. Participants were 2378 children (52.2 % boys) of the same age of 10 in the first wave. After multiple imputation for missing values, hierarchical logistic regression followed to examine the mediational model. The results verified the hypothesized model, showing significant adverse influence of psychological control on MPD, self-regulated learning and school adjustment. MPD fully mediated the effect of psychological control on self-regulations, while partially mediating the effects on school adjustment. Implications for Korean parents with regard to supporting children’s psychological autonomy was discussed.

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