Associations between parental psychological and behavioral control and youth internalized and externalized behaviors

Child Dev. 1994 Aug;65(4):1120-36.


In this study, psychological control of children was conceptually and empirically distinguished from behavioral control. Further, it was demonstrated as hypothesized that psychological control was more predictive of adolescent internalized problems, and that behavioral control was more predictive of externalized problems. Subjects were 473 fifth-, eighth-, and tenth-grade males and females from a Southern suburb. Control was measured by the Child Report of Parent Behavior Inventory and the Colorado Self-Report of Family Functioning Inventory. Problem behaviors were measured with the Child Behavior Checklist. First- and second-order factor analyses discriminated psychological and behavioral control, and structural equation analyses demonstrated the differential prediction of internalized and externalized problems. These last analyses were conducted using youth-reported data and validated using a subsample of 227 mother-youth pairs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Authoritarianism*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*