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Parents’ Promotion of Psychological Autonomy, Psychological Control, and Mexican–American Adolescents’ Adjustment

By Efrat Sher-Censor, Ross D. Parke and Scott Coltrane


Mexican–American adolescents are at an elevated risk for adjustment difficulties. In an effort to identify parenting practices that can affect the adjustment of Mexican–American youth, the current study examined parents’ promotion of psychological autonomy and parents’ psychological control as perceived by Mexican–American early adolescents, and explored their associations with adolescents’ adjustment in the context of acculturation. In 5th grade, 134 (54.5% female) Mexican–American adolescents reported on their acculturation level and the parenting practices of their mothers and fathers. In 5th and 7th grade, adolescents also reported on their depressive symptoms, number of delinquent friends, and self-worth. Perceptions of promotion of psychological autonomy and of psychological control were positively correlated. However, perceptions of more promotion of psychological autonomy and of less psychological control predicted fewer depressive symptoms 2 years later. Perceptions of more promotion of psychological autonomy also predicted fewer delinquent friends two years later. Finally, perceptions of more promotion of psychological autonomy predicted higher self-worth only among less acculturated adolescents. The study underscores the roles that promotion of psychological autonomy and psychological control may play in Mexican–American children’s well-being during early adolescence

Topics: Empirical Research
Publisher: Springer US
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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