aggression, bullying, guilt induction, love withdrawal, psychological control


Bullying has been understudied among preschool children, especially those from Chinese American families. Previous research has also neglected the dimensional effects of psychological control on child bullying development. This study examined two psychological control dimensions, love withdrawal and guilt induction, and their effects on children’s bullying aggressive behavior using a longitudinal design. Participants were first generation Chinese American mothers (N = 133;mean age [Mage] = 37.82) and their preschool children (Mage = 4.48). Chinese immigrant mothers reported their psychologically controlling parenting and teachers rated children’s bullying aggressive behaviors in the school setting. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to establish the psychometric properties and cross-wave measurement equivalence of the study constructs. Cross-lagged structural equation modeling analysis indicated that maternal love withdrawal prospectively predicted more bullying aggressive behavior, whereas guilt induction predicted less bullying aggressive behavior in children 6 months later. These results held after controlling for the initial level of children’s problem behaviors and demographic variables (child age, gender, and maternal education). For child effects, child bullying aggressive behavior predicted more maternal guilt induction over time but not love withdrawal. Our findings highlight the importance of construct specificity and cultural context in understanding associations between parenting and child development.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor