Undermining Adolescent Autonomy With Parents and Peers: The Enduring Implications of Psychologically Controlling Parenting

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Abstract

This study used a longitudinal, multimethod design to examine whether teens' perceptions of maternal psychological control predicted lower levels of adolescent autonomy displayed with their mothers and peers over time. Significant predictions from teens' perceptions of maternal psychological control to teens' displays of autonomy in maternal and peer relationships were found at age 16 after accounting for adolescent displays of autonomy with mothers and peers at age 13, indicating relative changes in teens' autonomy displayed with their mother and a close peer over time. Results suggest that the ability to assert one's autonomy in mid-adolescence may be influenced by maternal behavior early in adolescence, highlighting the importance of parents minimizing psychological control to facilitate autonomy development for teens.

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