Roles of Korean mothers' child-based self-worth and psychological control in child outcomes

Yena Kyeong, Kyoung Ok Seol, Ji Eun Park, Agnes M. Varghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We investigated the implications of Korean mothers' tendency to gain self-worth from their children's achievements (i.e., child-based self-worth) for child outcomes. Background: We tested the role of psychological control in mediating the link between mothers' child-based self-worth and child outcomes. The moderating roles of contextual (i.e., school levels) and child characteristics (i.e., perceived maternal sacrifice) in this process were examined. Method: Mothers and their children in elementary (n = 162) and in middle and high school (n = 172) were recruited. Mothers reported on their child-based self-worth and psychological control, and children reported on their perception of maternal sacrifice and their depression and hyperactivity. Results: Mothers' child-based self-worth predicted psychological control, which in turn, related to children's depression and hyperactivity. The link between maternal child-based self-worth and psychological control was stronger in the middle and high school sample. Children's perceived sacrifice attenuated the effects of psychological control on child outcomes. Conclusion: Middle and high school (vs. elementary) mothers with high child-based self-worth may be more vulnerable to exhibiting controlling parenting. The relationship between maternal child-based self-worth and child outcomes may vary by contextual and child characteristics. Implications: Findings denote the implications of parenting behaviors derived from parents' self-concerns in child outcomes, as well as the role of children in parenting processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-736
Number of pages17
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 National Council on Family Relations.


  • behavior problems
  • child-based self-worth
  • parental sacrifice
  • parenting
  • psychological control


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