Toward a Domain-Specific Approach to the Study of Parental Psychological Control: Distinguishing Between Dependency-Oriented and Achievement-Oriented Psychological Control

Authors


concerning this article should be addressed to Bart Soenens, Department of Developmental, Social, and Personality Psychology, Henri Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium. E-mail: Bart.Soenens@ugent.be.

Abstract

ABSTRACT Theory and research suggest that psychologically controlling parenting can be driven by parental concerns in two different domains, that is, interpersonal closeness and achievement. Three studies addressing this hypothesis are presented. Study 1 provides evidence for the validity of the Dependency-Oriented and Achievement-Oriented Psychological Control Scale (DAPCS), a new measure assessing psychological control in these two domains. Study 2 showed that dependency-oriented and achievement-oriented psychological control were related in expected ways to parental separation anxiety and perfectionism in a sample of mothers and fathers. Finally, Study 3 showed that dependency-oriented and achievement-oriented psychological control were differentially related to middle adolescent dependency and self-criticism and that these personality features act as specific intervening variables between the domain-specific expressions of psychological control and depressive symptoms. It is argued that the distinction between two domain-specific expressions of psychological control may allow for a more intricate analysis of the processes involved in intrusive parenting.

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