Journal of Personality vol:84 issue:3 pages:381-392
Objective: This research examined whether and how adolescents’ personality traits moderate associations between psychologically controlling parenting and problem behaviors. On the basis of Self-Determination Theory, we also examined the mediating role of psychological need frustration in the effects of psychologically controlling parenting.
Method: A cross-sectional study in two samples (N = 423 and 292; M age = 12.43 and 15.74 years) was conducted. While in Sample 1 both mothers and adolescents provided reports of parenting and problem behavior, Sample 2 relied on adolescent-reported parenting and mother-reported problem behavior.
Results: Psychologically controlling parenting was related to internalizing and externalizing problems in both samples. Little systematic evidence was obtained for the moderating role of personality, with the exception of a moderating effect of agreeableness. In both samples psychological control was unrelated to externalizing problems among adolescents high on agreeableness. Analyses on Sample 2 showed that associations between psychological control and problem behavior were mediated by psychological need frustration.
Conclusions: Adolescent personality plays a modest role as a moderator of associations between psychologically controlling parenting and problem behavior. Frustration of adolescents’ basic and universal psychological needs can account for the undermining effects of psychologically controlling parenting.