The relation between parental psychological control and youth internalizing symptoms moderated by parenting constructs
Morton, Allison R.
MetadataShow full item record
Significant relations exist between parenting constructs and youth internalizing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social anxiety, which are often comorbid. Psychological control is defined as parental attempts to control their child through coercion or guilt induction. Literature suggests that parental psychological control, in particular, is associated with youth internalizing symptoms. Few studies have examined the relation between parenting, parental psychological control, and youth internalizing symptoms while controlling for youth comorbid symptoms. This study investigated the relation among the parenting constructs of hostility/rejection/neglect (HRN) and warmth, maternal psychological control, and youth internalizing symptoms while controlling for maternal behavioral control and youth comorbid symptoms in a community sample of youth 8 to 12 years old and their mothers. Assessments were completed by children and their mothers. Results indicated maternal psychological control was significantly related to youth self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social anxiety before controlling for comorbid symptoms. After controlling for comorbid symptoms, maternal psychological control was related to youth self-reported depressive and anxiety symptoms. When utilizing mother-reported youth symptoms, maternal psychological control was significantly related to youth symptoms of depression and anxiety before and after controlling for comorbid symptoms. While results indicated neither maternal warmth nor maternal HRN moderate the relation between maternal psychological control and youth symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social anxiety; a specific dimension of psychological and maternal HRN control are uniquely associated with youth depressive symptoms. Methodological, theoretical, and clinical implications are discussed.