Parenting Dimensions and Internalizing Difficulties in Italian and U.S. Emerging Adults: The Intervening Role of Autonomy and Relatedness

Sonia Ingoglia, Alida Lo Coco, Cristiano Inguglia, Mindy R. Gutow, Francesca Liga, Hui Jun Lim, Hui Jun Lim, Charissa S. L. Cheah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study examined the associations between emerging adults’ perceived parental psychological control and autonomy support, and their autonomy, relatedness and internalizing difficulties in Italy and the U.S. The participants included 494 Italian and 414 U.S. college students, between 18 and 28 years of age (Mean = 21.58, SD = 2.18). Our findings showed that dependency-oriented psychological control had no significant direct associations with autonomy, relatedness or internalizing difficulties. Moreover, the association between parental autonomy support and internalizing problems was fully intervened by autonomy and relatedness, whereas the association between achievement-oriented psychological control and anxiety and depressive symptoms was partially intervened by autonomy and relatedness. Finally, although parental psychological control and autonomy support had similar effects on maladjustment across the two countries, relatedness appeared to play a more central role as an intervening variable for anxiety in the Italian group than in the U.S. group. Overall, our findings highlighted the importance of examining parents’ contributions to emerging adults’ internalizing problems via autonomy support and psychological control across cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-431
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume25
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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