Parental Psychological Control and Adolescent Adjustment: The Role of Adolescent Emotion Regulation

Lixian Cui, Amanda Morris, Michael M. Criss, Benjamin J. Houltberg, Jennifer S. Silk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. This study investigated associations between parental psychological control and aggressive behavior and depressive symptoms among adolescents from predominantly disadvantaged backgrounds. The indirect effects of psychological control on adolescent adjustment through adolescent emotion regulation (anger and sadness regulation) were examined, as well as the moderating effects of adolescent emotion regulation. Design. 206 adolescents (aged 10-18 years) reported on parental psychological control and their own depressive symptoms, and parents and adolescents reported on adolescent emotion regulation and aggressive behavior. Indirect effect models were tested using structural equation modeling; moderating effects were tested using hierarchical multiple regression. Results. The associations between parental psychological control and adolescent aggressive behavior and depressive symptoms were indirect through adolescents' anger regulation. Moderation analyses indicated that the association between parental psychological control and adolescent depressive symptoms was stronger among adolescents with poor sadness regulation and the association between psychological control and aggressive behavior was stronger among older adolescents with poor anger regulation. Conclusions. Psychological control is negatively associated with adolescent adjustment, particularly among adolescents who have difficulty regulating emotions. Emotion regulation is one mechanism through which psychological control is linked to adolescent adjustment, particularly anger dysregulation, and this pattern holds for both younger and older adolescents and for both boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-67
Number of pages21
JournalParenting
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

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