Format of Original
Taylor & Francis
Parenting: Science and Practice
Original Item ID
Objective:This study utilized an observational coding scheme to identify parenting behavior reflecting psychological control and autonomy granting, and examined relations between these parenting dimensions and indices of child and family functioning. Design: A community sample of 90 preadolescents (aged 10.5 to 12 years) and both of their parents engaged in a triadic interaction that was coded for parental psychological control and autonomy granting. Participants also completed measures of child adjustment, interparental conflict, and triangulation. Results: Factor analyses indicated that a two-factor model better fit the data than a one-factor model, suggesting that psychological control and autonomy granting are best conceptualized as independent but related constructs. Parental psychological control and autonomy granting exhibited some shared and some unique correlates with indices of child and family functioning. Hierarchical regressions revealed significant interactions between these dimensions, suggesting that the strength of some associations between parents' use of psychological control and youth adjustment problems depends on the level of autonomy granting exhibited by the parent. Conclusions: By examining psychological control and autonomy granting simultaneously as unique constructs, this study identifies patterns of psychological control and autonomy granting that undermine youth adjustment. Findings inform targeted intervention efforts for families of preadolescent youth.