Perceived Parental Control and Chinese Middle School Adolescents’ Creativity: The Mediating Role of Autonomous Motivation

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The present study attempted to examine the relationships between perceived parental control and Chinese middle school adolescents’ creativity assessed in terms of ideational fluency, flexibility, and originality, as well as the mechanism underlying these associations from the Self-Determination Theory perspective. A total of 503 Chinese middle school students participated in this study, and their autonomous motivation, perceived parental control and creativity were measured. Results indicated that behavioral control and psychological control had distinct impact on Chinese adolescents’ creativity. Specifically, behavioral control was positively related to ideational fluency, flexibility, and originality, while psychological control was negatively related to ideational fluency and flexibility. In addition, behavioral control contributed to Chinese adolescents’ creativity through its positive effect on autonomous motivation. However, psychological control had no significant relationship with autonomous motivation. The findings highlight the importance of differentiating behavioral and psychological control when considering the effect of parental control on creativity.

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