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The role of parental achievement goals in predicting autonomy-supportive and controlling parenting

  • Mageau, Genevieve A
  • Bureau, Julien S
  • Ranger, Francis
  • Allen, Marie-Pier
  • Soenens, Bart
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Although autonomy-supportive and controlling parenting are linked to numerous positive and negative child outcomes respectively, fewer studies have focused on their determinants. Drawing on achievement goal theory and self-determination theory, we propose that parental achievement goals (i.e., achievement goals that parents have for their children) can be mastery, performance-approach or performance-avoidance oriented and that types of goals predict mothers' tendency to adopt autonomy-supportive and controlling behaviors. A total of 67 mothers (aged 30-53 years) reported their goals for their adolescent (aged 13-16 years; 19.4 % girls), while their adolescent evaluated their mothers' behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that parental performance-approach goals predict more controlling parenting and prevent acknowledgement of feelings, one autonomy-supportive behavior. In addition, mothers who have mastery goals and who endorse performance-avoidance goals are less likely to use guilt-inducing criticisms. These findings were observed while controlling for the effect of maternal anxiety.

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