The researchers at the University of Virginia in the US found that teenagers whose parents exert more psychological control over them have more problems establishing friendships and romantic relationships later.
The study looked at whether psychological control exercised by parents in early adolescence can hamper teenagers’ development of liberty in relationships with equals. Parents’ psychological control involved tactics like using guilt, withdrawing love, fostering anxiety, or other tactics aimed at controlling youths’ motivations and behaviour, researchers observed.
“These tactics might pressure teens to make decisions in line with their parents’ needs and motivations rather than their own,” said Barbara A. Oudekerk, a research associate at the University of Virginia.
“Without opportunities to practice self-directed, independent decision-making, teens might give in to their friends’ and partners’ decisions,” added Oudekerk.
The volunteers in the study were teenagers of ages 13 and 18; they reported the degree to which their parents used psychological control. The parents who exercised more psychological control over the teenaged children when they were around 13, found it difficult in establishing autonomy in relationships with friends, found the study.
The study also evaluated teenagers’ power to reason, express confidence and show warmth in friendships when the adolescents were 18 and 21, and in romantic relationships at ages 18 and 21. Parents could promote or weaken teenagers’ ability to maintain their own views and needs with regard to their close friends and romantic partners, concluded Oudekerk.
The study appeared in the journal Child Development.
Source: The Indian Express
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