Maternal psychological control and peer victimization in early adolescence: An application of the family relational schema model.


Guided by the family relational schema model, the current study examined the direct and indirect contributions of maternal psychological control to subsequent relational and overt peer victimization, via early adolescents’ conduct problems, fear of negative evaluation, and depressive symptoms. Participants were 499 10- to 14-year-olds (53% female; 77% European American) involved in two waves of a study with 1 year between each wave. Path analyses indicated that depressive symptoms mediated the associations between maternal psychological control and increases in both forms of peer victimization across the 1-year time period. Although conduct problems were concurrently associated with maternal psychological control, and fear of negative evaluation predicted change in both forms of peer victimization, neither variable mediated the maternal psychological control-peer victimization associations. Results were generally consistent across gender, with a few notable differences. Study findings provide partial support for the family relational schema model and implications are discussed.