parental psychological control, parent-child relationship, manipulation, abuse


The two central purposes of this volume are to review the historical, conceptual, and empirical literatures on parental psychological control and to advance the rapidly growing scientific literature Ono this aspect of the parent-child relationship. Chapter 2 addressed the first task with a review of published material that has specifically investigated psychological control or variables that are conceptually similar to it. From this review of the historical conceptualizations of parental psychological control, we concluded that psychological control is a psychologically oriented, intrusive, constraining, and manipulating form of parental control in which parents appear to maintain their own psychological status at the expense and violation of the child's self. From the review of the empirical literatures, we further concluded that parental psychological control has been consistently linked to difficulties in child functioning, such as self-processes, internalized and externalized problems, and school performance, with emerging evidence that these associations occur in a variety of national, cultural, and ethnic samples.

Original Publication Citation

Barber, B. K., Bean, R. A., & *Erickson, L. D. (2002). Expanding the study and understanding of parental psychological control. In B. K. Barber. (Ed.), Intrusive parenting: How psychological control affects children and adolescents (pp. 263-289). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



American Psychological Association Press




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor