Relationships
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUp in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!

Related Topics
Intrusive ParentingReview - Intrusive Parenting
How Psychological Control Affects Children and Adolescents
by Brian K. Barber
American Psychological Association , 2002
Review by Patricia Ferguson
Sep 13th 2002 (Volume 6, Issue 37)

The APA has published a 308-page book on research on parenting styles, edited by Brian K. Barber. The book looks at two types of parenting: the more harmful psychological control and the more appropriate behavioral control. The book is a scholarly book based on solid research by several contributing researchers. It is intended for “scholars and others interested in parent-child relationships.” This book would be a good textbook for graduate students of psychology and related fields, and belongs on a shelf of serious reference for professors teaching students about families and parenting based on research. The clinical applications are numerous and are outlined by the authors.

The book begins with a chapter by Barber, where he compares the two different styles of parenting (psychological and behavioral), a review of previous research, and a discussion of the how the rest of the book will add to the topic. From there, the book proceeds to describe much more recent research that is greatly improved from a research design viewpoint. For instance, the newer research uses more measurements than self-report (such as multiple informants), and it uses multiple measurements as well. Also, the newer research controls for possible extraneous variables, uses larger samples, uses a long-term longitudinal method, includes younger children, not just adolescents, and discusses the implications of the research outcomes.

The more appropriate behavioral control is when a parent monitors behaviors, such as activities, manners, chores and school or other important issues. On the other hand, psychological control is more passive and insidious, more controlling, and harmful. It is when a parent has control over the child’s psychological world, such as feelings, identity, and even verbal expressions of the child’s internal world. Psychological control induces guilt, shame, and problems such as aggression or depression, low self-esteem, and alienation. Behavioral control, in contrast, uses consistent disciplinary practices and allows the child to discuss opposing viewpoints.

By reading Barber’s definition of psychological control and the definitions throughout the book of both types, it is easy to see that the more harmful style to the child is psychological control. Barber uses a quote from his earlier research that draws not only on his works but the works of others, in which he states that psychological control “…is nonresponsive to the child’s emotional and psychological needs…” and the child is given limited opportunities to develop a sense of personal efficacy.

With psychological control, the child is treated in such a way that there is no opportunity for self-expression and other healthy modes of interacting in the world. The book describes parents who use this style as engaging in intruding, manipulative, and inhibiting behaviors and styles of interaction. Behavioral control, in contrast, is less covert and more direct, and allows the child to explore the world on his or her own, within set limits. Typically, behavioral control is what is taught in parenting classes while psychological control is not.

The book looks at all the different outcomes; the different correlates of each style, and increases the reader’s understanding of what each of these styles is, and most importantly, how harmful it can be to use psychological control. Difficulties that children and adolescents have who have been raised with psychological rather than behavioral control are described in detail and the research has improved over time in this area, as evidenced by this book. For instance, children raised with psychological control have an external locus of control. On the other hand, those who are raised with behavioral controls have an internal locus of control. Similarly, research has shown that children raised with behavioral controls have parents who are more involved in a positive way with their lives, and there are less conflict in the home between the parents, compared to those raised with psychological control.

The more current research also reviewed the gender of the parent and the child, where relevant, and found that there is a correlation between gender and style of parenting. For instance, one study found that where a father and mother are having conflict, the father who uses psychological control by withdrawing from his wife will also do so with his daughter, Also, the parenting styles were studied using specific populations, such as those with spina bifida, and psychological control is found to be higher with this group. The importance of this for children with disabilities is obvious. Demographics as a variable are also included as a chapter in the book, as cross-cultural comparisons have also been done and are included in the book, too.

Although many studies showed correlational results that would suggest cause and effect, this is not always true. Therefore, in addition to recommending better statistical analyses in future studies, the current studies in the book did use the better analyses, as well as general overall better research methods. Thus, the book ends with not only a summary of the research, but suggestions for future research, and implications of the findings. Recommendations included viewing subgroup differences in psychological control more carefully, more clearly stating the affects of psychological control through better analyses, and discovering why some parents use psychological control.

 

© 2002 Patricia Ferguson

 

 

 Dr. Patricia Ferguson is a licensed clinical psychologist in northern California. She is also a published freelance writer and editor in many different areas, including ADVANCE for radiation technicians, MedioCom, and The Journal of Interpersonal Violence. She was honored to be placed in Who's Who of Women for the Year 2000. Her areas of interest are varied. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University and received her doctorate from Nova University in Florida. She enjoys traveling, camping, and playing guitar. She also has sold a few pieces of her artwork. Most importantly to her, she enjoys her family time, including her husband, daughter, 20, and son, 14.


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7900 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716