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Title:Parents' Self -Views: Implications for Parents' Use of Control With Their Children and Parents' Mental Health
Author(s):Eaton, Melissa Ann Murry
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pomerantz, Eva M.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Personality
Abstract:The aim of the current research was to investigate why there are differences among parents in their exertion of control over their children. The key proposal was that parents who include their children in their self-construals are particularly likely to use control with their children because they see their own self-worth as contingent on their children's performance. It was also expected that parents' self-construals would play a role in their mental health. A sample of first-semester college students (161 females; 70 males) and their parents (222 mothers; 186 fathers) were studied. Parents reported on the extent to which they include their children in their self-construals, how contingent their self-worth is on their children's performance, and their use of control. Children also provided reports about their parents along these lines. In addition, parents reported on the extent to which they worry over their children's performance and their well-being and ill-being. Children's grades at the conclusion of the first semester were also collected. Results revealed that parents who included their children in their self-construals reported using heightened levels of control; however, children did not perceive such parents as using heightened levels of control. Parents who felt that their worth was contingent on their children's performance also used heightened levels of control, as reported by themselves as well as their children. This mediated the link between parents' self-construals and their heightened use of control. Moreover, parents' heightened worrying partially accounted for the link between their feeling that their worth is contingent on their children's performance and their use of control. Mothers including their children in their self-construals reported heightened ill-being, but not dampened well-being. Fathers with such self-construals reported heightened well-being, but not dampened ill-being. This difference between parents appeared to be due to the fact that the self-construals of mothers were more strongly associated than were the self-construals of fathers with feelings of contingent self-worth. Such feelings, among both mothers and fathers, were associated with heightened ill-being and dampened well-being. There was little evidence that children's performance in school moderated the effects found.
Issue Date:2003
Description:104 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3101830
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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