Toward a new conceptualization of parental control from the self-determination theory

Carmen Rodríguez-Menéndez, María Paulina Viñuela-Hernández, Sara Rodríguez-Pérez

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1 Citation (Scopus)


© Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca / CC BY-NC-ND. Research developed on parental educational styles, specifically research that has studied the «parental control» dimension, has been carried out on a variety of conceptualizations of this concept. This heterogeneity in the use of the concept has had a direct effect on results of the research. So, empirical evidence on the effects of parental control on children has been often inconsistent or misleading. In this context, the article analyzes the main epistemological and methodological problems produced by the ambiguous use of this construct. Besides, and from the framework provided by the self-determination theory, we propose a new definition of the construct and we explain its relationships with other parental educational dimensions. Specifically, two complementary dimensions are proposed: autonomy support versus control and structure. This proposal allows to avoid the mentioned problems and to open a new field in the study of parenthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-199
JournalTeoria de la Educacion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Autonomy support
  • Parental control
  • Parental structure
  • Parenting educational styles
  • Self-determination theory


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