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Abstract

On two occasions separated by one year, Chinese adolescents (N = 2,758) responded to instruments measuring their perceived parental psychological control and psychological well-being, including hopelessness, mastery, life satisfaction, and self-esteem. Pearson correlation analyses revealed that perceived parental psychological control was concurrently related to adolescent psychological well-being at Time 1 and Time 2. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that the relationships between perceived parental psychological control and adolescent psychological well-being over time were bidirectional in nature. Regarding the differential contribution of paternal and maternal psychological control to adolescent psychological well-being over time, paternal psychological control at Time 1 predicted changes in adolescent life satisfaction at Time 2, particularly for adolescent girls. On the other hand, maternal psychological control at Time 1 predicted changes in adolescent self-esteem at Time 2. Relative to those conditions in which one or none of the adolescents' parents was perceived to display high psychological control at Time 1, the psychological well-being of adolescents at Time 2 was poorer under the condition in which both parents were perceived to display high levels of psychological control at Time 1. The clinical implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 63: 1–22, 2007.