Parental autonomy inhibition and psychological control during early adolescence were investigated as predictors of teens’ passive behaviors in later peer and romantic relationships. Furthermore, such passivity was examined as a predictor of social anxiety in early adulthood. Participants (n = 184) were assessed at ages 13, 18, and 22 by multi-reporter surveys and observations. Autonomy inhibition from parents, including psychological control and negative autonomy and relatedness, generally predicted more avoidance behaviors in peer and romantic relationships. Interestingly, effects were more frequently observed from fathers, suggesting paternal roles may have a stronger impact on the level of avoidance their teens display with closest peers and romantic partners. Social anxiety was only significantly predicted by teens’ lack of dominance in romantic interactions and was negatively associated with autonomy inhibition from parents. The study’s limitations and significance are discussed.
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Carlson, A. R., & Szwedo, D. E. (2022). Autonomy restriction as a predictor of adolescent social difficulties [Bachelor's thesis, James Madison University].