Parental psychological control (PPC) involves attempts to control the child through psychological tactics that invalidate the child's sense of self, and has adverse effects across cultural contexts. PPC restricts and violates children's basic needs for security, closeness and relatedness, and competence and autonomy, and it disrupts the autonomy–connection balance. Because of PPC's harmful effects, it is important to understand and study its precursors, the circumstances and contexts that might intensify or moderate its effects, and potential ways to reduce PPC. This paper indicates the current state of research about PPC, highlighting the main insights that we have gained and noting gaps and inconsistencies. We first lay the groundwork for an understanding of PPC by briefly discussing its conceptual background, definitions, and measurement issues. Second, we delineate the parent, child, and context characteristics that are associated with PPC, as well as the characteristics of PPC in different developmental periods. Third, we describe mediating processes that may explain the adverse outcomes and parent–child bi-directional influences. Fourth, we refer to possible moderating variables, such as culture and gender. We conclude by suggesting directions and topics for future research.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health