Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology vol:38 issue:1 pages:117-131
Using a cross-lagged panel design, the present study examined the directionality of relations between parental psychological control and child relational aggression. Data were collected from a proportionally stratified sample of 600 Flemish 8- to 10-year old children at three measurement points with one-year intervals. Structural equation modeling with multiple indicators was applied. Reciprocal effects were evident in mother-child dyads. Maternal psychological control was positively related to child relational aggression one year later, and child relational aggression was positively related to maternal psychological control one year later. The father-child dyads were best represented by unidirectional parent effects. Paternal psychological control was positively related to child relational aggression one year later. Surprisingly, these effects only emerged for relational aggression as indexed by mother and father reports, but not for relational aggression as indexed by teacher and peer measures. Possible explanations and implications of these findings are discussed.