Developmental differences in children's conceptions of parental control: "They love me, but they make me feel incompetent"

Eva Marie Pomerantz, Missa Murry Eaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The possibility was examined that as children progress through elementary school, their conceptions of parental control change. Elementary-school children's conceptions of parental control in terms of helping, monitoring, decision making, and praising were assessed with self-report methods as were children's conceptions of ability, perceptions of the frequency of parental control, and self-esteem. With grade, children increasingly viewed parental helping, monitoring, and decision making as indicative of incompetence. Older children also viewed parental praising as motivated by parents' desire to promote competence. These conceptions of parental control were associated with conceptions of ability. Children's conceptions of parental helping, monitoring, and decision making moderated the relation between their per-ceptions of the frequency with which parents exerted control and their self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-167
Number of pages28
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Volume46
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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