Parental Psychological Control, Big Five Personality and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation among Adolescents

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Psychology , Jamia Millia Islamia , New Delhi , INDIA



Introduction: The study aims to examine the big five personality (Dimensions) as a mediator between Parental Psychological Control (PPC) and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation (DER). It was also researched that child characteristics moderate the effects of parenting outcomes.
Method: Three hundred adolescents studying in different schools in Delhi were selected based on the random sampling technique. Three scales, namely Psychological Control Scale—Youth Self-Report (PCS-YSR), Big Five Inventory (BFI), and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale Short Form (DERS-SF) were administered. A dichotomous independent variable (named X1) was used in the research where PPC was divided into two groups 'Both High' group VS 'Others'.
Results: Obtained scores were analyzed by using Parallel mediation analysis through PROCESS macro version 3.2.01 for SPSS created by Hayes in 2018. Results of the mediational analysis revealed that X1(Both High vs. Others) significantly predicted neuroticism, and X1, neuroticism, and openness significantly predicted DER. Total effect (c=3.78, p<.05) and direct effect (c=2.73, p<.05) were found to be significant. Indirect effects were obtained by the Bootstrapping method. Findings revealed a specific indirect effect of neuroticism to be significant (coeff. =.1075; LLCI-ULCI= .0077 to.2102).
Conclusion: Neuroticism significantly mediates the relationship between emotion regulation and PPC. It is necessary to incorporate both individual and environmental factors to understand emotional development processes. It is therefore suggested to develop interventions that not only helps adolescents to learn effective ways to regulate emotions but to also guide parents to cater to the child's emotional needs effectually.


1.   Langlois JH. Emotion and emotion regulation: From another perspective. Child Development. 2004;75(2):315–6.

2.   Eisenberg N, Morris AS, Spinrad TL. Emotion-related regulation: The construct and its measurement.  Handbook of research methods in developmental science. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers; 2005. p. 423–42.

3.   Gross JJ. Antecedent- and response-focused emotion regulation:Divergent consequences for expression, experience, and physiology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1998;24:224–37.

4.   Morris AS, Silk JS, Steinberg L, Myers SS, Robinson LR. The role of the family context in the development of emotion regulation. Social Development. 2007;16:361–88.

5.   Barber BK. Parental psychological Control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development. 1996; 67:3296–319.

6.   Crockenberg S, Litman C. Autonomy as competence in 2-year-olds: Maternal correlates of child defiance, compliance, and self-assertion. Developmental Psychology. 1990;26:961-71.

7.   Barber BK, Olsen JA, Shagle SC. Associations between parental psychological and behavioral Control and youth internalized and externalized behaviors. Child Development. 1994;65:1120–36.

8.   Schaefer ES, Bell RQ. Development of a parental attitude research instrument. Child Development. 1958;29:339-61.

9.   Barber BK, Harmon EL. Violating the self: Parental psychological Control of children and adolescents.  Intrusive parenting: How psychological Control affects children and adolescents. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2002. p. 15-52.

10. Deci EL, Ryan RM. The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry. 2000;11:227-68.

11. Vansteenkiste M, Ryan RM. On psychological growth and vulnerability: basic psychological need satisfaction and need frustration as a unifying principle. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. 2013;23:263-80.

12. Calkins SD, Smith CL, Gill KL, Johnson MC. Maternal interactive style across contexts: Relations to emotional, behavioral, and physiological regulation during toddlerhood. Social Development. 1998;7:350-69.

13. Shiner RL, Caspi A. Personality differences in childhood and adolescence: Measurement, development, and consequences. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2003;44:2-32.

14. Caspi A, Shiner RL. Personality Development. In: Eisenberg N, editor. Handbook of child psychology. 3. Social, emotional and personality development. New York, NY: Wiley; 2006. p. 300-65.

15. Ehrler DJ, Evans JG, McGhee RL. Extending the Big Five theory into childhood: A preliminary investigation into the relationship between Big Five personality traits and Behavior Problems in children. Psychology in Schools. 1999;36:451-8.

16. Costa PT, McCrae RR. Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory(NEO-FFI) professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources; 1992.

17. Jensen-Campbell LA, Adams R, Perry DG, Workman KA, Furdella JQ, Egan SK. Agreeableness, extraversion, and peer relations in early adolescence: Winning friends and deflecting aggression. Journal of Research in Personality. 2002;36:224-51.

18. Monroe SM, Simsons AD. Diathesis stress theories in the context of life stress research: Implications for the depressive disorders. Psychological Bulletin. 1991;110:406-25.

19. Belsky J. Variation in susceptibility to environmental influence: An evolutionary argument. Psychological Inquiry. 1997;8:182-6.

20. Cole PM, Michel MK, Teti LO. The development of emotion regulation and dysregulation: A clinical perspective. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. 1994;59:73-100.

21. Timmermans T, Van Mechelen I, Nezlek JB. Individual differences in core affect reactivity. Personality and Individual Differences. 2009;47:510-5.

22. Rogers AA, Padilla-Walker LM, McLean RD, Hurst  JL. Trajectories of perceived parental psychological Control across adolescence and implications for the development of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Journal of youth and adolescence. 2020;49(1):136-49.

23. John OP, Donahue EM, Gentle RL. The Big Five Inventory--Versions 4a and 54. CA: University of California,Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research; 1991.

24. Reardon KW, Wang M, Neighbors C., Tackett JL. The Personality Context of Adolescent Gambling: Better Explained by the Big Five or Sensation-Seeking?. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 2019;41(1):69-80.

25. Kaufman EA, Xia M, Fosco G, Yaptangco M, Skidmore CR, Crowell SE. The difficulties in emotion regulation scale short form (DERS-SF): Validation and replication in adolescent and adult samples. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 2015;38(3):443-55.

26. Gratz KL, Roemer L. Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation and dysregulation: development, factor structure, and initial validation of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 2004;26:41-54.

27. Charak R, Byllesby BM, Fowler JC, Sharp C, Elhai JD, Frueh B. Assessment of the revised Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scales among adolescents and adults with severe mental illness. Psychiatry Research. 2019;279:278-83.

28. Baron RM, Kenny DA. The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual ,startegic , and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1986;51:1173-82.

29. Hayes AF. Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach New York: The Guilford Press; 2018.

30. Aunola K, Ruusunen AK, Viljaranta J, Nurmi JE. Parental affection and psychological Control as mediators between parents' depressive symptoms and child distress. Journal of Family Issues. 2015;36:1022-42.

31. Cervone D, Shadel WG, Jencius S. Social-cognitive theory of personality assessment. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 2001; 5(1):33-51.

32. Shaver PR, Brennan KA. Attachment style and the big five personality traits: Their connection with romantic relationship outcomes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 1992;18:536–45.

33. Zarra-Nezhad M, Aunola K, N K, Mullola S, Moazami-Goodarzi A. Parenting Styles and Children's Emotional Development during the First Grade: The Moderating Role of Child Temperament. Journal of Psychology and  Psychotherapy. 2015;5(5).

34. Dynes ME. Neuroticism and emotion regulation success: The Ohio State University; 2010.