Little is known about why American youth tend to have higher self-esteem than do Chinese youth. This research examined the role of psychologically controlling parenting during early adolescence. 825 youth (48% females; Mage = 12.73 years) in the United States and China reported on their self-esteem and parents’ psychological control every 6 months from the fall of 7th grade to spring of 8th grade. Both American and Chinese youth’s self-esteem decreased over time, but American youth consistently had higher self-esteem. American parents were less psychologically controlling than were Chinese parents who, unlike American parents, became more psychologically controlling over time. These differences in psychologically controlling parenting contributed to the tendency for American youth to have higher self-esteem than their Chinese counterparts.
- Psychological control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)