Preadolescent psychological well-being: determining the association with maternal psychological control and family environment

  • Nicolette Roman

Abstract

Background: The family and parents could either provide protective factors or initiate
vulnerability for children who are exposed to a high-risk environment such as crime in a community. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships  between  maternal  psychological  control,  family  environment  (cohesion  and  conflict)  and  the psychological well-being (self-esteem and satisfaction with life) of preadolescents.

 

Methods: A quantitative approach with a cross-sectional correlational design was used to obtain self-reported data from 412 preadolescents. The mean age of participants was 11 years with the majority being female (60%) in Grade 5. The Coopersmith Self-esteem Inventory and the Satisfaction with Life Scale were used to assess the psychological well-being of preadolescents, the Parent Psychological Control Questionnaire for psychologically controlling parenting practices and the Family Environment Scale for family functioning.

 

Results: The results suggest that scores were relatively high on both self-esteem and satisfaction with life. Mothers were not perceived as applying strong psychologically controlling parenting practices. Families were perceived as being more cohesive and had less conflict. Regression analysis results show that the combination of family environment and maternal psychological control accounted for 22% of the variance in self-esteem and 12% of the variance in satisfaction with life.

Conclusion: The findings provide an understanding of how enhancing and hindering environments could predict psychological well-being of children. Interventions for parents should include a broad family-based perspective so as to show parents the implications of their choice of parenting on child well-being.

References

Barber, B.K. (1996). Parental psychological control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development, 67, 3296-3319.

Bean, R.A., Bush, K.R., McKenry, P.C., & Wilson, S.M. (2003).

The impact of parental support, behavioral control, and psychological control on the academic achievement and self- esteem of African American and European American adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 18, 523-541.

Chipman, S., Frost Olsen, S., Klein, S., Hart, C.H., & Robinson,

C.C. (2000). Differences in retrospective perceptions of parenting of male and female inmates and non-inmates. Journal of Family Relations, 49, 5-11.

Coopersmith, S. (2002). Self-esteem inventories manual.

Redwood City, CA: Mind Garden, Inc.

Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self- determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Press.

Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (2004). Handbook of self-determination research. New York: University of Rochester Press.

DeGenova, M.K., & Rice, F.P. (2002). Intimate relationships, marriages & families. (5th ed.). New York: Mc Graw Hill.

Diener, E., Emmons, R.A., Larsen, R.J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

Doyle, A.B., & Markiewicz, D. (2005). Parenting, marital conflict and adjustment from early-to mid-adolescence: Mediated by adolescent attachment style. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34, 97-111.

El-Sheikh, M., & Buckhalt, J.A. (2003). Parental problem drinking and children's adjustment: Attachment and family functioning as moderators and mediators of risk. Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 510-520.

Grolnick, W. (2003). The psychology of parental control: How well- meant parenting backfires. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Grolnick, W.S., Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (1997). Internalization within the family: The self-determination theory perspective. In J.E. Grusec & L. Kuczynski (Eds.), Parenting and children's internalization of values: A handbook

of contemporary theory (pp. 135-161). New York: Wiley.

Hill, N.E. (1995). The relationship between family environment and parenting style: A preliminary study of African American families. Journal of Black Psychology, 21, 408-423.

Mandara, J., & Murray, C.B. (2002). Development of an empirical typology of African American family functioning. Journal of Family Psychology, 16, 318-337.

Moos, R.H., & Moos, B.S. (2002). Family environment scale manual: Development, applications, research (3rd ed.). California: Mind Garden.

Prevatt, F.F. (2003). The contribution of parenting practices in a risk and resiliency model of children's adjustment. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 21, 469-480.

Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-Determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.

Schaefer, E.S. (1965). Children's reports of parental behavior: An inventory, Child Development, 36, 413-424.

Soenens, B. (2006). Psychologically controlling parenting and adolescent psycholosocial adjustment. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Leuven. Leuven, Belgium.

Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Luyten, P. Duriez, B., & Goossens, L. (2005). Maladaptive perfectionistic self- representations: The mediational link between psychological control and adjustment. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 487-498.

Vansteenkiste, M. (2005). Intrinsic versus extrinsic goal promotion and autonomy support versus control. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium..

Vansteenkiste, M., Zhou, M., Lens, W, & Soenens, B. (2005).

Experiences of autonomy and control among Chinese learners: Vitalizing or immobilizing? Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 468-483.

Wissing, M.P., & Van Eeden, C. (2002). Empirical clarification of the nature of psychological well-being. South African Journal of Psychology, 32, 32-44.

Section
Articles