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11-09-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 1/2020

Parental Psychological Control and Adolescent Problematic Outcomes: A Multidimensional Approach

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 1/2020
Auteurs:
Katelyn F. Romm, Aaron Metzger, Lauren M. Alvis
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

Parental psychological control is an emotionally manipulative parenting behavior that involves the use of tactics such as love withdrawal, guilt induction, and conditional approval and has been found to be particularly problematic for adolescent development. However, research has not yet examined whether psychological control is also best measured as a multidimensional construct during adolescence or whether various dimensions of psychological control are differentially predictive of adolescents’ problematic outcomes. Therefore, the current study examined the factor structure of a measure commonly used to assess psychological control, the Psychological Control Scale—Youth Self-Report. Additionally, the current study examined whether specific dimensions of psychological control are differentially associated with adolescents’ problematic outcomes, including over- and under-eating behaviors, risky cyber behaviors, substance use, and depressive symptoms.

Methods

Participants included 161 adolescents (Mage = 14.42, SD = 1.73; 80.7% Caucasian; 59.6% female) living in a University city in a Mid-Atlantic state. Participants completed survey questionnaires about parental psychological control, problematic eating behaviors, risky cyber behaviors, substance use, and depressive symptoms.

Results

Results indicated that psychological control is comprised of three distinct factors, including personal attack, invalidating feelings, and love withdrawal, which were uniquely associated with adolescents’ problematic outcomes.

Conclusions

The findings provide insights into more precise ways to examine the association between psychological control and problematic outcomes and highlight which aspects of psychological control are important for specific problematic outcomes among adolescents.

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