Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 637–645 | Cite as

Parental Psychological Control and Childhood Anxiety: The Mediating Role of Perceived Lack of Control

  • Monica M. Nanda
  • Beth A. Kotchick
  • Rachel L. Grover
Original paper


Parental psychological control has been found to relate to the development of childhood anxiety; however, this relation has not been thoroughly examined. The purpose of this study was to understand the nature of the relation between parental psychological control and anxiety symptoms in children, as well as to understand whether this relation is mediated by children’s perceived control. Questionnaires were administered to children ages 8–11. Results indicated a significant relation between parental psychological control and child anxiety symptoms. Results further indicated that this relation was fully mediated by children’s perceptions of how much control they feel they have over events in their lives. These findings suggest that although parental psychological control and a child’s perceived control both contribute to the development of anxiety, it is possible that parental psychological control contributes to the development of anxiety by affecting a child’s perception of control.


Parental psychological control Parenting Child anxiety Perceived control Locus of control 



This project was completed in partial fulfillment of the first author’s requirements for a Master of Science degree at Loyola University Maryland. The authors would like to thank David Powers for his contributions on the first author’s thesis committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica M. Nanda
    • 1
  • Beth A. Kotchick
    • 2
  • Rachel L. Grover
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Loyola University MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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