Psychological control and autonomy granting: Opposite ends of a continuum or distinct constructs?

Jennifer S. Silk, Amanda S. Morris, Tomoe Kanaya, Laurence Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

215 Scopus citations


This article explores the relationship between parental psychological control and parental autonomy granting, and the relations between these constructs and indicators of adolescent psychosocial functioning, in a sample of 9,564 adolescents from grades 9 to 12. Participants completed a comprehensive parenting questionnaire as well as several measures of psychosocial adjustment. Confirmatory factor analyses of the parenting items revealed discrete factors for psychological control and autonomy granting, suggesting that these are distinct parenting constructs rather than opposite ends of a parental control continuum. Moreover, structural equation modeling showed that these factors were weakly correlated and differentially related to adolescent internalizing symptoms. Findings have implications for future conceptualization and measurement of psychological control and autonomy granting, and for research examining their effects on adolescent development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


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