Date of Award

Summer 2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Jeffrey John Walczyk


This study examined the relationships between perceived parenting styles, psychosocial development, and locus of control orientation in 334 college students. Perceived parenting styles were assessed with Buri's (1991) Parental Authority Questionnaire, based on Baumrind's (1973) parenting typology. The parental dimensions of responsiveness and demandingness are categorized into three styles of parenting: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Psychosocial development was assessed with the Measures of Psychosocial Development (Hawley, 1988), which is based on Erikson's (1950) developmental theory of personality development. Locus of control, based on Rotter's (1954) social learning theory, was measured by Rotter's (1966) I-E scale. Results indicated that authoritative parenting is associated with successful task resolution in psychosocial development, while permissive and authoritarian parenting are associated with less successful task resolution. Maternal authoritative parenting was found to be associated with an internal locus of control, while maternal permissive and authoritarian parenting were associated with an external locus of control. Lastly, the study posited that locus of control would serve as a moderator between parenting styles and psychosocial development. The results indicated that locus of control can moderate the relationship between parenting styles and psychosocial development. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed, as well as considerations for future research.