The impact of perceived parental control on internalization and ego-depletion

Helvacı, Elif
The aim of the current study is to examine the potential parenting factors and mediating mechanisms that lead to ego-depletion within the framework of Self-Determination Theory. Previous research has suggested that whereas behaviourally controlling and autonomy-supportive parenting contributes to the development of autonomous motivation, psychologically controlling parenting leads to introjected motivation for self-regulation. Moreover, recent studies have shown that as compared to introjected regulation, autonomous regulation depletes less ego-resource. Thus, it was expected that parental psychological control positively, but behavioural control negatively, affects ego-depletion via controlled regulation style. In the first study, university students (N = 179) completed three groups of measures assessing parenting behaviours, motivation type of self-regulation, and state self-control capacity. The results of SEM analysis partially supported the proposed mediational model. Whereas both maternal and paternal psychological control indirectly predicted self-control capacity corresponding higher levels of ego depletion via controlled regulation, parental behavioural control did not have direct or indirect effect on self-control capacity. In the second study, the same hypotheses were tested experimentally on a group of participants (N = 91) from the first study by exposing them either an upsetting or a funny video condition that requires emotional control. Results revelaled that perceived high levels of maternal psychological control and low levels of paternal behavioural control make individuals more vulnerable to ego-depletion under emotional control. Furthermore, those with high introjected motivation for emotion-control were relatively resistant to ego-depletion. Findings were discussed considering the practice effect of self-control, implications of diverging parenting behaviours and cultural factors.


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Citation Formats
E. Helvacı, “The impact of perceived parental control on internalization and ego-depletion,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.