Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Grych, John

Second Advisor

Gerdes, Alyson

Third Advisor

Wierzbicki, Michael


Parental psychological control refers to intrusive strategies that infringe upon the psychological world of the child. Parents who demonstrate high levels of psychological control pressure their children to comply with their personal standards via manipulation of the parent-child bond (i.e., love withdrawal and guilt induction), negative, affect-laden comments (i.e., criticism, disappointment, and shame), and excessive personal control (i.e., possessiveness and over-involvement) (Barber, 1996; Barber, Olsen, & Shagle, 1994; Schaefer, 1965a; 1965b; Steinberg, 1990). Research investigating the impact of parental psychological control on child adjustment has indicated that it has harmful effects on children. Studies have demonstrated, across populations, that psychological control is related to disruption of the child's self-system, including self-regulation, ego development, and interpersonal functioning (i.e., Allen, Hauser, Eickholt, Bell, & O'Connor, 1994; Baumrind, 1966; Best, Hauser, & Allen, 1997; Hauser, Powers, Noam, Jacobson, Weiss, & Follansbee, 1984; Hauser, Powers, & Noam, 1991) to internalizing and externalizing adjustment problems, (i.e., Barber & Shagle, 1992; Barber, 1996; Conger, Conger, & Scaramella, 1997; Fauber, Forehand, Thomas, & Wierson, 1990; Garber, Robinson, & Valentiner, 1997; Herman, Dornbusch, Harron, & Harting, 1997; Mills & Rubin, 1990; Steinberg, 1990), and to low academic achievement (Steinberg, Elmen, & Mounts, 1989)....



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