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Effects of social pressure and child failure on parents’ use of control : an experimental investigation

Dorien Wuyts (UGent) , Maarten Vansteenkiste (UGent) , Elien Mabbe (UGent) and Bart Soenens (UGent)
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Abstract
Because research has shown that controlling parenting is related to general and school-related maladjustment in children, there is a need to examine antecedents of controlling parenting. In this study, we addressed the role of two sources of pressure (i.e., social pressure eliciting ego-involvement and child failure) on parents' situational use of control. 124 parents worked with their 5th or 6th grade children on a puzzle task. The two sources of pressure were induced experimentally in a 2 x 2 design, with parents receiving instructions eliciting either ego involvement or task-involvement and with children either failing or succeeding in the task. Following the task, there was a free choice period in which dyads could choose whether or not to make additional puzzles. In both phases of the experiment, we coded parents' controlling interaction style, dyadic reciprocity, performance, and parents' and children's engagement. Additionally, in the free-choice period the dyads' degree of persistence was registered. While induced child failure was related positively to parents' controlling style during the initial puzzle activity, induced social pressure was related to parents' controlling style in the free-choice period. In turn, a controlling style was related negatively to performance, reciprocity, and engagement. The findings confirm that parents' use of a controlling style is a multi-determined phenomenon affected by different sources of pressure and undermining children's performance and engagement.
Keywords
Ego-involvement, Performance, Motivation, Parenting, Control, Observation, Experiment, DETERMINATION THEORY PERSPECTIVE, PSYCHOLOGICAL NEED-SATISFACTION, INTRINSIC MOTIVATION, AUTONOMY SUPPORT, SELF-DETERMINATION, MOTHERS, BEHAVIOR, ACHIEVEMENT, PERFORMANCE, ADOLESCENTS

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Chicago
Wuyts, Dorien, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Elien Mabbe, and Bart Soenens. 2017. “Effects of Social Pressure and Child Failure on Parents’ Use of Control : an Experimental Investigation.” Contemporary Educational Psychology 51: 378–390.
APA
Wuyts, D., Vansteenkiste, M., Mabbe, E., & Soenens, B. (2017). Effects of social pressure and child failure on parents’ use of control : an experimental investigation. CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 51, 378–390.
Vancouver
1.
Wuyts D, Vansteenkiste M, Mabbe E, Soenens B. Effects of social pressure and child failure on parents’ use of control : an experimental investigation. CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY. 2017;51:378–90.
MLA
Wuyts, Dorien et al. “Effects of Social Pressure and Child Failure on Parents’ Use of Control : an Experimental Investigation.” CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY 51 (2017): 378–390. Print.
@article{8544202,
  abstract     = {Because research has shown that controlling parenting is related to general and school-related maladjustment in children, there is a need to examine antecedents of controlling parenting. In this study, we addressed the role of two sources of pressure (i.e., social pressure eliciting ego-involvement and child failure) on parents' situational use of control. 124 parents worked with their 5th or 6th grade children on a puzzle task. The two sources of pressure were induced experimentally in a 2 x 2 design, with parents receiving instructions eliciting either ego involvement or task-involvement and with children either failing or succeeding in the task. Following the task, there was a free choice period in which dyads could choose whether or not to make additional puzzles. In both phases of the experiment, we coded parents' controlling interaction style, dyadic reciprocity, performance, and parents' and children's engagement. Additionally, in the free-choice period the dyads' degree of persistence was registered. While induced child failure was related positively to parents' controlling style during the initial puzzle activity, induced social pressure was related to parents' controlling style in the free-choice period. In turn, a controlling style was related negatively to performance, reciprocity, and engagement. The findings confirm that parents' use of a controlling style is a multi-determined phenomenon affected by different sources of pressure and undermining children's performance and engagement.},
  author       = {Wuyts, Dorien and Vansteenkiste, Maarten and Mabbe, Elien and Soenens, Bart},
  issn         = {0361-476X},
  journal      = {CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY},
  keywords     = {Ego-involvement,Performance,Motivation,Parenting,Control,Observation,Experiment,DETERMINATION THEORY PERSPECTIVE,PSYCHOLOGICAL NEED-SATISFACTION,INTRINSIC MOTIVATION,AUTONOMY SUPPORT,SELF-DETERMINATION,MOTHERS,BEHAVIOR,ACHIEVEMENT,PERFORMANCE,ADOLESCENTS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {378--390},
  title        = {Effects of social pressure and child failure on parents’ use of control : an experimental investigation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2017.09.010},
  volume       = {51},
  year         = {2017},
}

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