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21-03-2016 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 10/2016

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2016

Maternal Psychological Control and Its Association with Mother and Child Perceptions of Adolescent Adjustment: More Evidence on the Strength of Shared Perspectives

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 10/2016
Auteurs:
Olivia M. Valdes, Brett Laursen, Fanny A. Guimond, Amy C. Hartl, Jill Denner

Abstract

Mothers and adolescents hold distinct albeit correlated views of their relationship and of one another. The present study focuses on disentangling these independent views. Concurrent associations between maternal psychological control and children’s adjustment are examined at two time points in order to identify the degree to which associations reflect (a) views that are shared by mothers and adolescents, and (b) views that are unique to mothers and adolescents. A total of 123 (56 % female) U.S. Latino/a adolescents (M = 10.4 years old at the outset) and their mothers reported on maternal psychological control, children’s conduct problems, and children’s anxiety, twice within a 5-month period. Data were collected at the close of primary school when the adolescents were in grade 5 and again at the beginning of middle school, when they were in grade 6. Results from conventional correlations indicated that mother- and adolescent-reports yielded similar associations between maternal psychological control and adolescent adjustment. Common fate model analyses partitioned results into variance shared across mother and adolescent reports and variance unique to mother and adolescent reports. Results differed for anxiety and conduct problems. Shared views indicated that greater maternal psychological control was associated with heightened child conduct problems; there were no associations unique to either reporter. In contrast, unique reporter views indicated that greater maternal psychological control was associated with child anxiety; there were no associations involving shared views. Although mother- and adolescent-reports agree that maternal psychological control is correlated with children’s adjustment, there is considerable divergence in results when associations are partitioned according to shared and unique reporter views. Associations between maternal psychological control and children’s anxiety are more apt to be inflated by same-reporter variance bias than are associations between maternal psychological control and children’s conduct problems.

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