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28-10-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2020

Exploring the family origins of adolescent dysfunctional separation–individuation

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2020
Auteurs:
Shiyuan Xiang, Yan Liu, Yitian Lu, Lu Bai, Shenghan Xu
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Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed to explore family origins of adolescent dysfunctional separation-individuation. We tested the fit of a theoretical model in which mothers’ parenting stress and adolescents’ perceived maternal psychological control were specified as mediators between mothers’ marital satisfaction and adolescent dysfunctional separation–individuation.

Methods

Participants were 276 adolescents (aged 12–15 years old) and their mothers. Adolescents completed measures of perceived maternal psychological control and dysfunctional separation–individuation, and mothers completed measures of marital satisfaction and parenting stress.

Results

The association between mothers’ marital satisfaction and adolescents’ dysfunctional dependence was both direct and serially mediated through mothers’ parenting stress and adolescents’ perceived maternal dependency-oriented psychological control (β = −0.02, p < 0.05, 95% CI = [−0.04, −0.002]). Parenting stress was associated with dysfunctional dependence through perceived dependency-oriented psychological control (β = 0.06, p < 0.05, 95% CI = [0.01, 0.10]) while being associated with dysfunctional independence through perceived achievement-oriented psychological control (β = 0.05, p < 0.05, 95% CI = [0.01, 0.10]). Parenting stress also served as the mediator in the association between marital satisfaction and perceived dependency-oriented psychological control (β = −0.06, p < 0.05, 95% CI = [−0.11, −0.01]), and in the association between marital satisfaction and perceived achievement-oriented psychological control (β = −0.06, p < 0.05, 95% CI = [−0.11, −0.001]).

Conclusions

The current study extended past findings by identifying mothers’ marital satisfaction as a contributor to adolescent dysfunctional separation–individuation, and parenting stress and adolescents’ perceived maternal psychological control as mediating mechanisms.

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