2012. Vol.3, No.5, 428-439
Published Online May 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
The Relationship among Paternal Psychological Control and
Adolescents’ Perfectionism and Self-Esteem: A Partial Least
Squares Path Analysis
Sabry M. Abd-El-Fattah1, Hessa Abdulrahman Fakhroo2
1Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
2Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
Received February 14th, 2012; revised March 16th, 2012; accepted April 17th, 2012
The present study investigated the relationship among paternal psychological control and adolescents’
perfectionism and self-esteem. The sample included 136 father-adolescent pairings. Adolescents re-
sponded to a questionnaire tapping three aspects of perfectionism: self-oriented perfectionism, socially-
prescribed perfectionism, and concern over mistakes. Their fathers completed a questionnaire assessing
their psychological control along three dimensions: direct expectations, controlling expectations, and ef-
fort approval. A path modeling showed that direct expectations and effort approval positively predicted
self-oriented perfectionism. Controlling expectations negatively predicted self-oriented perfectionism and
self-esteem and positively predicted socially-prescribed perfectionism. Socially-prescribed perfectionism
positively predicted concern over mistakes and negatively predicted self-esteem. Adolescents’ socially-
prescribed perfectionism mediated the relationship between fathers’ controlling expectations and adoles-
cents’ self-esteem. Effort approval moderated the relationship between direct expectations and self-ori-
ented perfectionism.
Keywords: Psychological Control; Perfectionism; Self-Esteem; Path Analysis
Although the concept of parental psychological control had
been identified in the 1960s (Schaefer, 1965), socialization
research has only begun to systematically investigate its role in
adolescents’ psychosocial functioning since the mid-1990s
(Barber, 1996; Barber, Olsen, & Shagle, 1994). As such, psy-
chological control has been defined as a characteristic of par-
ents who pressure their adolescents to think, feel, and behave in
ways they themselves dictate. Psychologically controlling par-
ents would intrude upon the adolescent’s psychological world
through the use of manipulative tactics such as guilt induction,
instilling anxiety, invalidation of the adolescent’s perspective,
and love withdrawal (Barber, 1996; Barber & Harmon, 2002).
Accordingly, parental psychological control was found to relate
more strongly to internalizing (Barber, 1996) than to external-
izing problems (De Kemp, Scholte, Overbeek, & Engels, 2006),
and this relationship was obtained even after controlling for the
effect of other parenting dimensions, such as responsiveness
and behavioral control (Barber, Stolz, & Olsen, 2005; Soenens,
Vansteenkiste, Luyten, Duriez, & Goossens, 2005).
One important internalizing problem that has been associated
with parental psychological control is adolescents’ expression
of low self-esteem. Rosenberg (1965) defined self-esteem in
terms of a stable sense of personal worth or worthiness. More
recently, Branden (2001) defined self-esteem as the experience
of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and
being worthy of happiness. According to Branden, self-esteem
is the sum of self-confidence (a feeling of personal capacity)
and self-respect (a feeling of personal worth). It exists as a
consequence of the implicit judgment that every person does
about, on one side, his/her ability to face life’s challenges, that
is, to understand and solve problems, and, on the other side, his
right to achieve happiness or, in other words, to respect and
defend his own interests and needs. In a study with two samples
of Belgian college students, Soenens et al. (2005) reported that
greater psychological control of both parents was associated
with students’ reduced self-esteem. When taking other parent-
ing styles into account (responsiveness and behavioral control),
psychological control of both parents was the only significant
and negative predictor of students’ self-esteem in only one
sample (late adolescents).
Perfectionism is characterized by striving for flawlessness
and setting of excessively high standards for performance, ac-
companied by tendencies toward overly critical evaluations of
one’s behavior (Flett & Hewitt, 2002). Consistent with the pre-
vailing view of perfectionism as a multidimensional construct,
we studied two key perfectionism dimensions. Self-oriented
perfectionism (SOP; i.e., demanding perfection of oneself)
involves compulsive striving, unrealistic self-expectations, and
a pervasive need for perfection. Socially prescribed perfection-
ism (SPP; i.e., perceiving others are demanding perfection of
oneself) involves exaggerated concerns over others’ expecta-
tions and perceptions of others as hypercritical (Hewitt & Flett,
1991). Hewitt and Flett’s (1991) model was selected because it
captures one readily observable distinction in perfectionism
research: self-imposed perfectionistic strivings and expectations
versus chronic concerns over others’ expectations and evalua-
tions (see Chang, 2006). This model also contrasts with other
models involving constructs similar to SOP (e.g., Frost, Marten,
Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990; Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, &
Ashby, 2001). In particular, Hewitt and Flett’s (1991) model
assesses rigid, extreme, and unrealistic strivings and expecta-
tions that do not directly reflect conscientiousness. Furthermore,
Frost et al. (1990) highlighted concern over mistakes as a third
form of perfectionism. It reflects a tendency to interpret mis-
takes as equivalent to failure and believe that one will lose the
respect of others following failure.
There is sufficient evidence that both socially-prescribed
perfectionism and concern over mistakes represent maladaptive
forms of perfectionism associated with negative characteristics,
processes, and outcomes. For example, socially-prescribed
perfectionism has shown positive correlations with neuroticism
and negative affect (Molnar, Reker, Culp, Sadava, & De Cour-
ville, 2006) and with psychopathological symptoms such as
anxiety, depression, somatization, and obsessive-compulsive
symptoms (Hewitt & Flett, 2004). Likewise, concern over mis-
takes has shown positive correlations with depressive symptom
(Minarik & Ahrens, 1996; Soenens et al., 2005), social phobia
(Antony, Purdon, Huta, & Swinson, 1998) and insomnia (Jans-
son-Frojmark & Linton, 2007). However, the status of self-
oriented perfectionism remains equivocal. Like socially-pre-
scribed perfectionism, self-oriented perfectionism has shown
positive correlations with psychopathological symptoms (Hew-
itt & Flett, 2004). However, unlike socially-prescribed perfec-
tionism, self-oriented perfectionism has shown positive correla-
tions with several healthy outcomes such as conscientiousness,
positive affect, and goal attainment (Trumpeter, Watson, &
O’Leary, 2006).
Perfectionism and Self-Esteem
Adaptive perfectionists (e.g., self-oriented perfectionists) are
characterized by setting high personal performance standards
and exerting painstaking efforts. These positive characteristics
are associated with feelings of personal satisfaction and achieve-
ment and consequently a secure sense of self and adaptive
self-processes. They set realistic goals and maintain their ability
to view themselves as successful even when their high per-
formance standards are not fully achieved. Thus, adaptive per-
fectionists are more likely to maintain high levels of self-es-
teem (Shafran & Mansell, 2001). Consistent with this reasoning,
Parker (1997) reported that a healthy perfectionistic group (i.e.,
self-oriented perfectionists with moderately high level of per-
sonal standards) of early adolescents scored the highest on the
Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1989) and that a
dysfunctional perfectionistic group scored the lowest.
In contrast, maladaptive perfectionists (e.g., socially-pre-
scribed and concern-over-mistakes perfectionists) would set
and pursue unrealistic performance standards (Shafran &
Mansell, 2001). Across time, they would develop deep-seated
feelings of inferiority, self-defeat, and ineffectiveness because
they rarely feel able to attain these high performance standards
(Blatt, 1995). Thus, maladaptive perfectionists are apparently
mold themselves to an impossibly idealized image, making low
self-esteem inevitable. Consistent with this reasoning, Soenens
et al. (2005) found maladaptive perfectionism significantly and
negatively related to self-esteem in two samples of Belgian
college students (i.e., middle and late adolescence). Soenens
and his colleagues represent maladaptive perfectionism by a
composite mean score of two subscales of the Multidimen-
sional Perfectionism Scale (Frost et al., 1990): concern over
mistakes subscale and doubts about action subscale.
Parental Psychological Control and Perfectionism
Although several studies have demonstrated that adolescents’
perfectionistic orientations are associated with differentiated
levels of their self-esteem (Parker, 1997; Soenens et al., 2005),
the genesis of such orientations are just beginning to be ex-
plored (Kawamura, Frost, & Harmatz, 2002). Therefore, how it
is that adolescents develop a perfectionistic orientation is still
not entirely clear. Several researchers proposed that parents’
exertion of psychological control over their adolescents may
help explain adolescents’ perfectionistic orientations. Those
researchers argue that perfectionism and maladaptive perfec-
tionism in particular would develop in families in which par-
ents’ approve of the adolescent’s behavior is conditioned on
whether the adolescent meets the parental standards for per-
formance. When an adolescent fails to meet these standards,
parents would criticize the adolescent, withdraw love, and in-
duce guilt. As a consequence of being exposed to such psycho-
logical control, the adolescent would adopt their parents’ rigid
standards for performance and gradually learn to impose these
standards on themselves (Flett et al., 2002). In support of this
notion, Soenens et al. (2005) reported that parental psychology-
cal control was associated with maladaptive perfectionistic
orientation in two samples of Belgian college students. When
taking other parenting styles into account (responsiveness and
behavioral control), parental psychological control turns out to
be the strongest, and almost unique, predictor of maladaptive
perfectionism. Likewise, Kawamura et al. (2002), working with
a sample of Caucasian and Asian American university students,
found a positive relationship between females’ reports of both
parents’ authoritarian parenting style and cognitions associated
with maladaptive perfectionism (i.e., concerns over mistakes
and doubts about actions).
Aim and Rationale of the Present Study
Following on from the work of Barber (1996; Barber &
Harmon, 2002) on parental psychological control, it was postu-
lated that fathers might attempt to induce their adolescents to
adopt high performance standards through three distinct com-
munication mechanisms: direct expectations, controlling ex-
pectations, and effort approval (see, Barber, 1996; Barber &
Harmon, 2002). A direct expectation expresses an assumption
that the adolescent will do well, will meet challenges, or simply
perform at a high level. A controlling expectation is defined in
terms of parental need for the adolescent’s high performance,
and expressed as emotional contingencies that link the adoles-
cent’s striving for achievement to parental needs. Effort ap-
proval represents generalized parental approval or warmth; a
factor known to facilitate intergenerational transmission effects
from parents to adolescents (Zentner & Renaud, 2007).
Numerous studies have investigated the relationship among
parental psychological control and adolescents’ perfectionism
and self-esteem. However, these studies are limited because
they only examine the relationship between two or more of
these variables and as such they did not provide a complete
picture of any intercausal connections among these variables. In
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 429
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
an attempt to build upon and extend the findings of previous
research, the present study sought to investigate the relationship
between among paternal psychological control and adolescents’
perfectionism and self-esteem using path analysis techniques.
Probably, the greatest advantage of path analysis is that it pro-
vides a means by which the nature of the problem may be
handily summarized. It requires the researcher to think about
cause, particularly systems of inetercausal connections includ-
ing direct and indirect effects, and provide an explicit link be-
tween prior theoretical notions of causal connections and esti-
mates of causal impact.
Thus, a primary goal of the present study was to develop a
path analysis model that could help investigate the following: 1)
the extent to which adolescents’ perfectionistic orientations
would be predicted from parental psychological control; 2) the
extend to which adolescents’ self-esteem would be predicted
from parental psychological control; 3) the extend to which
adolescents’ self-esteem would be predicted from perfectionis-
tic orientations, and 4) whether adolescents’ perfectionistic
orientations would mediate the relationship between parental
psychological control and self-esteem.
Figure 1 shows a hypothesized path analysis model of the
relationships among paternal psychological control and adoles-
cents’ perfectionism and self-esteem. The general prediction is
that direct expectations and effort approval would positively
predict self-oriented perfectionism. Controlling expectations
would negatively predict self-oriented perfectionism. Direct
expectations and effort approval would negatively predict so-
cially-prescribed perfectionism and concern over mistakes.
Controlling expectations would positively predict socially-
prescribed perfectionism and concern over mistakes. Direct
expectations, effort approval, and self-oriented perfectionism
would positively predict self-esteem. Controlling expectations,
socially-prescribed perfectionism, and concern over mistakes
would negatively predict self-esteem.
Overall, the present study extends the existing research lit-
erature in several ways. First, most of previous studies have
generally relied on participants’ reports of their parents’ psy-
chological control (For an exception, see Hutchinson & Yates,
2008). Although such reports provide insights into participants’
experiences and perceptions, they may also be excessively in-
fluenced by participants’ preexisting orientations toward per-
fectionism. For example, participants who feel that others ex-
pect them to be perfect may also feel that others are extremely
demanding. Thus, the present study relied on fathers’ self-re-
port of their psychological control of their adolescents.
Second, previous studies have generally examined perfec-
tionistic orientations within children (for an exception, see
Bean & Northrup, 2009; Soenens et al., 2005). Although child-
hood is considered a first crucial period for the genesis of per-
fectionism, Blatt (1995) recognized that important changes in
the development of perfectionism take place later in life as well.
Adolescence would constitute a particularly sensitive period for
this because it is characterized by increases in self-consciousness
Figure 1.
ypothesized path analysis model of the relationships among paternal psychological control and adolescents’ perfectionism and self-esteem. H
and by a growing awareness of social standards and achieve-
ment expectations (Flett et al., 2002). The experience of con-
trolling parenting at a time when adolescents are already more
self-critical and sensitive to social pressures would render ado-
lescents particularly sensitive for the development of an endur-
ing perfectionistic orientation. Thus, the present study sought to
investigate perfectionistic orientations within a sample of ado-
Third, previous studies have been conducted mainly in
Western contexts often with scant attention for cross-cultural
generalizability (For an exception, Bean & Northrup, 2009). In
other words, previous studies did not establish whether the
relationship between parental psychological control and perfec-
tionistic orientations and self-esteem, as documented for
adolescents within Western contexts, is true for adolescents
from non-Western cultures, where a range of parenting prac-
tices and cultural factors may lead to differences in adolescents’
perfectionistic orientations and expression of self-esteem. Thus,
the present study examined these relationships within a non-
Western context (i.e., Egypt).
Participants and Procedures
Subjects of the present study included 200 students from four
public high schools in El-Minia governorate in North Upper
Egypt. There were two metropolitan single gender schools and
two rural mixed gender schools. Participant students were from
second year classes and were recruited to participate in this
study at a convenient time during their school hours. These
students completed measures of self-oriented perfectionism,
socially-prescribed perfectionism, and concern over mistakes
which were administered by their class teachers. Then, these
students were each given a sealed envelope to take home to
their parents. This contained two copies of the Parental Goal
Questionnaire which could then be collected by a research as-
sistant. The Parental Goal Questionnaire was paired with meas-
ures of self-oriented perfectionism, socially-prescribed perfec-
tionism, and concern over mistakes through a code number.
Although mothers had been invited to participate, only 21
mothers completed the questionnaire—a number insufficient
for multivariate data analysis (Stevens, 2009). Fathers returned
a total of 136 questionnaires which represents a 68% response
rate. Thus, the final sample consisted of 136 father-adolescent
pairings. There were 73 male and 63 female students, with ages
ranging from 15 to 17 years and a mean of 16.4 years (SD
= .87). Ninety-five percent of the students came from intact-two
parent families, 3% had divorced parents, and in 2% of the
families one parent was deceased. The age of the participant
fathers ranged from 38 to 55 years with a mean of 45.3 years
(SD = 2.6).
Hewitt and Flett (1991) developed the self-oriented perfec-
tionism subscale (15 items) and the socially-prescribed perfec-
tionism subscale (15 items) as part of the Multidimensional
Perfectionism Scale (MPS, Hewitt, & Flett, 1991). Frost, Mar-
ten, Lahart, and Rosemblate (1990) developed the concern over
mistakes subscale (9 items) as part of the Frost Multidimen-
sional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS). Students indicated their
level of agreement with each item of these subscales along a
four-point Likert type scale that ranged from 1 “Strongly Dis-
agree” to 4 “Strongly Agree”.
Within the present dataset, selected items from the self-ori-
ented perfectionism subscale (6 items), socially-prescribed
perfectionism subscale (7 items), and the concern over mistakes
subscale (6 items) were use to assess students’ perfectionistic
orientations (see Appendix I). These items were chosen because
they were conceptually distinguishable and they also had the
highest loadings on their designate factors in the original stud-
ies by Hewitt and Flett (1991) and Frost et al. (1990). In addi-
tion, these items showed acceptable levels of reliability when
used in other studies (e.g., Rice, & Aldea, 2006; Slaney, &
Ashby, 1996). Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients for
these subscales based on the dataset of present study are shown
in Table 1.
Parental Goals Questionnaire
Yates and Hutchinson (2008) developed the Parental Goal
Questionnaire to assess parents’ direct expectations (6 items),
controlling expectations (6 items), and effort approval (3 items)
(see Appendix II). Parents indicated their level of agreement
with each item along a five-point Likert type scale that ranged
from 1 “Strongly Disagree” to 5 “Strongly Agree”. Cronbach’s
alpha reliability coefficients for these subscales based on the
Table 1.
Pearson’s correlations, number of items, average variance extracted, composite reliability, Cronbach’s alpha, and descriptive statistics.
Variables 2 3 4 5 6 7 Itemsa AVEb
VE CRc αd Meane SD
1. SOP .35** .32** .37** –.34** .32** .29* 5 .62 .79 .74 .72 2.5 .72
2. SPP .34** –.25* .36** –.13 –.39** 6 .58 .76 .78 .76 2.2 .53
3. COM –.33** .35** .10 –.15 6 .60 .77 .80 .74 2.3 .41
4. DE .34** .30* .30** 6 .53 .73 .76 .73 2.3 .59
5. CE .32
** –.41** 6 .64 .80 .79 .80 3.4 .51
6. EA .25
* 3 .55 .74 .75 .77 2.7 .44
7. SE 10 .66 .81 .81 .81 2.3 .65
Note: SOP = Self-oriented perfectionism; SPP = Socially-prescribed perfectionism; Com = Concern over mistakes; DE = Direct expectations, CE = Controlling
expectations; EA = Effort approval; SE = Self-esteem; N = 136, *p < .05, **p < .01; aNumber of items; bAverage variance extracted; cComposite reliability; dCronbach’s
lpha reliability; eMeans are expressed along a four-point Likert-type scale, 1 - 4, summed across items. a
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 431
dataset of the present study are shown in Table 1.
The Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (RSES, Rosenberg, 1989)
was used to assess adolescents’ self-esteem. This is a 10-item
measure of global feelings of self-worth and self-acceptance
(see Appendix III). Students indicated their level of agreement
with each of the 10 items, along a four-point Likert type scale
that ranged from 1 “Strongly Disagree” to 4 “Strongly Agree”.
Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient for the RSES based on
the dataset of the present study is shown in Table 1.
Translation of the Measurements
The adaptation of all measurements of the present study was
done using the back-translation method, which is a judgmental
procedure for investigating the conceptual equivalence (i.e.
symmetry) of the original and translated versions, necessary for
valid cross-cultural comparisons (Berry, 1980). Thereby, the
authors translated all measurements from English to Arabic.
Applying a back translation strategy, four qualified translators,
working without referencing to the English version of the
measurements, independently translated the Arabic version
back to English. All the translators were accredited with the
British-Egyptian Centre in El-Minia city in Egypt. Other four
qualified translators independently compared the original Eng-
lish version of the measurements to the new English version
that was translated back from Arabic, and any discrepancies
were noted. This iterative process of translation and back-
translation was continued until no semantic differences were
noticed between both English and Arabic versions of the meas-
urements (Brislin, 1980).
Partial Least Squares Path Analysis
The SmartPLS 2.0 M3 program (Ringle, Wende, & Will,
2005) was used to run a partial least squares (PLS) path analy-
sis. PLS path analysis is a statistical approach for modeling
complex multivariable relationships among observed and latent
variables (Chin & Newsted, 1999). This procedure was chosen
over covariance-based techniques such as LISREL because it
does not hinge upon large samples and it does not make as-
sumptions about the underlying data distribution when estimat-
ing the model parameters. In addition, PLS path analysis offers
a number of advantages over LISREL in terms of the estimation
of the interaction effects. This specific advantage is particularly
relevant to the present study (Chin & Newsted, 1999; Haenlein
& Kaplan, 2004).
The model analyzed in the present study contains reflective
constructs only. In a reflective scheme, the set of indicators is
assumed to measure a unique underlying concept (Chin &
Newsted, 1999). A PLS reflective model is usually analyzed
and interpreted sequentially in two stages: 1) the assessment of
the reliability and validity of the measurement model, followed
by 2) the assessment of the structural model. This sequence
ensures that the researcher has reliable and valid measures of
constructs before attempting to draw conclusions about the
nature of the relationships among constructs. The process of
model fit to the data depends on an iterative procedure that fits
estimates the relationships among these latent variables. A least
squares fit between observed and modeled parameters are com-
puted. A best-fit solution emerges when the least squares func-
tion stabilizes between iterations (Chin, 1998; Hulland, 1999;
Sellin & Keeves, 1997).
observed measures to corresponding latent variables and then
The Measurement Model
cifies the relationships among
on the
be used:
are considered relevant for the
iminant validity of a construct
The Structural Model
cribes the relationships among the
The measurement model spe
e observable variables and the underlying constructs. Gener-
ally, reflective constructs are assessed along the two concepts
of reliability and validity (Chin, 1998; Hulland, 1999).
Reliability can be assessed both on the indicator and
nstruct level. On the indicator level, the core criterion is the
factor loading. Depending on the research subject and the
availability of knowledge in the discipline, loadings of .5 (Chin,
1998) or even .4 can be accepted (Hulland, 1999). With the
exception of one item in the self-oriented perfectionism sub-
scale (loaded .27) and one item in the socially-prescribed per-
fectionism subscale (loaded .19), the results from the present
PLS measurement model, displayed in Figure 2, show that all
items loaded above .5 on their corresponding factors.
On the level of the full construct, two indices can
ronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient (Cronbach, 1951) and
composite reliability (Werts, Linn, & Joreskog, 1974). Both
indices assume values between 0 and 1, with higher values
indicating better reliability of a construct. Authors generally
find a level of .7 or higher acceptable for either index to assign
reliability for a construct (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). Table
1 shows acceptable levels of reliability because Cronbach’s
alpha and composite reliability of all constructs exceeded the
minimum threshold level of .7.
Two general types of validity
nstructs of present PLS path model: convergent validity and
discriminant validity (Hulland, 1999). The average variance
extracted (AVE) is the appropriate measure of a construct con-
vergent validity. The AVE includes the variance of its indica-
tors captured by the construct relative to the total amount of
variance, including the variance due to measurement error
(Bagozzi, Yi, & Phillips, 1991). The AVE should exceed a
value of .5 to highlight a construct convergent validity (Fornell
& Larcker 1981). Table 1 shows acceptable levels of conver-
gent validity because the AVEs of all constructs exceeded the
minimum threshold value of .50.
A necessary condition for discr
that a construct shared more variance with its own block of
indicators than with another latent variable representing a dif-
ferent block of indicators (Hulland, 1999). According to Fornell
and Larcker (1981), discriminant validity is proven if the square
root of the AVE of a construct is larger than the correlation of
this construct with any other construct in the model. Unfortu-
nately, guidelines about how much larger the AVE should be
larger than these correlations are not available (Fornell &
Larcker, 1981). Table 1 shows acceptable levels of discrimi-
nant validity because the square root of the AVEs of all
constructs is larger than the Pearson’s correlation coefficients
among these constructs. Overall, these findings show that the
measurement model fits the present data set adequately.
The structural model des
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Figure 2.
showing the relationship among paternal psychological control and adolescents’ perfectionism and self-esteem.
odel constructs. Unlike covariance-based procedures such as
Path diagram
LISREL, PLS is a descriptive approach that does not hinge
upon use of formal model fit statistics, which is mainly due to
the assumption of distribution-free variance (Hulland, 1999).
Alternatively, several non-parametrical tests can be applied to
evaluate the quality of the structural model. These tests, re-
ported in Table 2, include 1) the determination coefficients of
endogenous variables (R2), 2) directions and significance levels
of path coefficients via bootstrapped t-statistics, 3) effect size
(Cohen, 1988), 4) Stone-Geisser statistic (Q2, Geisser, 1975;
ne, 1974), and 5) Goodness of Fit index (GoF) (Tenenhaus,
Esposito Vinzi, Chatelin, & Lauro, 2005).
The R2 can assume value between 0 and 2
1. The larger R is,
The goodness of the path coefficients estimated in PLS can
ymptotic t-statistics obtained via a
es- this is the
a dependent latent
e larger the percentage of variance explained in an endoge-
nous variable by the exogenous variable (s) linked to it. Figure
2 shows that the R2 value is .30 for self-esteem, .34 for self-
oriented perfectionism, .13 for socially-prescribed perfection-
ism, and .10 for concern over mistakes. Although no generaliz-
able statement can be made about acceptable threshold values
of R2 (Stevens, 1999), these values suggest that the conceptual
PLS path model, examined within the present study, is well
supported by the data.
be tested by means of as
otstrapping resampling procedure. Within the present analy-
sis, the number of bootstrap samples J was set to 500 to allow
standard error estimates to be assayed via t tests (Chin, 1998;
Huland, 1999; Sellin & Keeves, 1997).
Figure 2 shows the final PLS model, generated by eliminat-
ing non-significant paths for simplicity purpos
ost parsimonious descriptive model. The analysis showed that
direct expectations and effort approval positively predicted self-
oriented perfectionism. Controlling expectations negatively pre-
dicted self-oriented perfectionism and self-esteem and posi-
tively predicted socially-prescribed perfectionism. Socially-
prescribed perfectionism positively predicted concern over
mistakes and negatively predicted self-esteem. Table 2 shows a
summary of the structural model statistics.
An effect size can be explored to see whether the influence
of a particular independent latent variable on
riable has substantive impact. Effect sizes were determined
by a method identified by Cohen (1988) and adopted by
Schroer and Herterl (2009) in PLS path models. Effect sizes of
single predictors are obtained by comparing the explained
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 433
Table 2.
PLS model
path coefficients.
β t LB 95% CIa UB 95% CIb 2
c q2d
1. DEP .3. .20 SO34 5** .30 .39 .15
2. CE SOP –.32 3.8** –.25 –.35 .17 .11
3. CE SE –.40 5.3** –.35 –.44 .39 .29
4. CE SPP .36 6.5** .29 .40 .35 .24
5. SPP COM .32 2.1* .25 .36 .20 .13
6. SPP SE –.37 5.7** –.30 –.41 .36 .26
7. EA SOP .35 4.2** .29 .40 .23 .16
Not .05, **p < .01; 5%CI = Lower b5% confidence int bUB95%CI = Uppund 95% confidenerval; c2
e: N = 136, *p < aLB9ound 9erval;er boce int
= ()/(1 –
mount of variance when a predictor is either included or ex-
R); dq2 = (2
Q)/(1 – 2
cluded from the path model, that is, 2
= (2
R). According to Cohen (19882
v of .0.15,
an signify small, medium, and large effects, respectively.
Table 2 shows that the model path coefficients have moderate
to high effect sizes. Noteworthy, the path coefficient from con-
trolling expectations to self-esteem showed the largest effect
size (2
d .35
= .39) whereas the path coefficient from controlling
expectations to self-oriented perfectionism showed the smallest
effect size (2
= .17).
The Stone-Geisser (Q2) statistic (Gt
eisser, 1975; Sone, 1974)
sts the predictive relevance of the model by reproducing the
observed values by the model itself and its parameter estimates
following a blindfold procedure. Q2 > 0 implies that the model
has predictive relevance whereas Q2 < 0 represents a lack of
predictive relevance. In general, a cross-validated redundancy
Q2 above .5 is indicative of a predictive model. The cross-
validated redundancy index assesses the capacity of the path
model to predict the endogenous manifest variables indirectly
from a prediction of their own latent variable using the related
structural relation by cross-validation (Chin, 2010). The present
PLS path model has a cross-validated redundancy index of .65,
suggesting acceptable levels of predictive relevance.
As in the case of 2
, changes in Q2 can be used to assess the
f-fit (GoF) index (Tenanhaus et al., 2005)
effect sizes would be .1, .25 and .36 respectively (Cohen, 1988).
oderator is a qualitative (e.g., sex, race,
., level of reward) variable that affects
mparing the proportion of variance explained, as
lative impact of thstructural model on the observed meas-
ures for each dependent latent variable: q2 = (2
Q)/(1 – 2
Q). The q2 values of .02, .15, anig-
all, meand large predictive relevance of certain
latent variables (Chin, 2010). Table 2 shows that the model
path coefficients have moderate predictive relevance. Note-
worthy, the path coefficient from controlling expectations to
self-esteem shows the largest predictive relevance (q2 = .29)
whereas the path coefficient from controlling expectations to
self-oriented perfectionism shows the smallest predictive rele-
vance (q2 = .11).
The Goodness-o
d .35 s
nify smdium
kes into account the performance of both the measurement
and the structural model and thus provide a single measure for
the global prediction performance of the model. GOF is repre-
sented by the square root of the product of the geometric mean
of the average communality (outer measurement model) and the
average R2 of endogenous latent variables. It can assume values
between 0 and 1, where a higher value represents better path
model estimations. GoF criteria for small, medium, and large
The present path model has a GOF of .35, suggesting accept-
able levels of global prediction performance.
Moderating Effect
“In general terms, a m
class) or quantitative (e.g
e direction and/or strength of the relation between an inde-
pendent or predictor variable and a dependent or criterion vari-
able” (Baron & Kenny, 1986: p. 1174). Chin, Marcolin, and
Newsted (2003) proposed the product indicator approach to test
for a moderating effect within the PLS path modeling approach.
They suggested building the products of each indicator of the
independent latent variable with each indicator of the moderator
variable. To test whether the moderating effect differs signify-
cantly from zero, an asymptotically Student t is calculated for
the interaction term based on a bootstrapping technique (Chin,
2010). The SmartPLS 2.0 M3 program implements the product
indicator approach to test for the moderating effect (Ringle et
al., 2005).
Furthermore, the strength of the moderating effect can be as-
sessed by co
pressed by the determination coefficient R2, of the main ef-
fect model (i.e. the model without the moderating effect) with
the R2 of the full model (i.e. the model including the moderat-
ing effect). This idea also underlies the effect size of the mod-
erating variable (2
) (Chin et al., 2003): 2
= (2
model with moderator
model without moderator
R)/(1 – 2
model with moderator
R). Moderating effects
with effect sizes 2
) of .02 may be regaed as
siz es above .35 as strong
(Chin et al., 2003).
Within the context of the present study, when examining the
relationship between
rd weak, effect
es from .15 as moderate, and effect siz
controlling expectations and socially-
prescribed perfectionism, it was apparent that this relationship
was not moderated by either adolescents’ gender (interaction
effect, t = 1.2, ns, 2
= .002) or by level of effort approval
(interaction effect, t = 1.5, ns, 2
= .005). Similarly, the link
between direct expections and self-oriented perfectionism was
not moderated by adolescents’ ger (interaction effect, t = 1.1,
ns, 2
= .001).
However, when examining the relationship between direct
expectations and self-oriented perfectionism, it was revealed
that effort approval acted as a moderating factor (interaction
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
effect, t = 7.6, p < .01, 2
= .31). This moderation effect was
then investigated by using the effort approval scores to divide
the sample into three subgroups (low, moderate, and high, with
n of 44, 51, and 41, respectively). The correlations between
direct expectations and self-oriented perfectionism were found
to be .06 (ns), .30 (p < .05), and .45 (p < .01) for these three
subgroups respectively. In other words, in the relative absence
of general effort approval, the impact of direct expectations
upon the self-oriented perfectionism became non-significant.
This is consistent with the original hypothesis that effort ap-
proval would enhance adaptive effects.
Mediating Effect
According to Baron
may be considered a m
and Kenny (1986, p. 1176), a variable
ediator “to the extent that it accounts for
, the author employed the product of
lmbeck (1997), two types of intervening ef-
uished, that is, mediated effects and indirect
s on concern over mis-
The PLS path analysi study revealed several
notable findings. First, pogical control could be
tions was, in fact,
expectations and
e relation between the predictor and the criterion”. The PLS
path model, presented in Figure 2, shows that the link between
controlling expectations and socially-prescribed perfectionism
was paralleled by a link between controlling expectations and
self-esteem. This raises the possibility that socially-prescribed
perfectionism underlies the link between controlling expecta-
tions and self-esteem.
In order to test the mediation effect of adolescents’ socially-
prescribed perfectionism
efficients strategy (Sobel, 1982; Preacher & Hayes, 2004,
2008). The product of coefficients strategy is preferred over
Baron and Kenny’s (1986) casual step approach because of two
main reasons. First, causal step approach does not consider the
estimate of the indirect effect, nor a standard error for this ef-
fect that might permit direct investigation of statistical signifi-
cance. That is, it ignores the central question: Is the indirect
effect different from zero? (Preacher & Hayes, 2008). Second,
testing the null hypothesis that indirect effect = 0 requires one
fewer hypothesis test, and thus type II error in the testing of
mediation would be less likely (Preacher & Hayes, 2004).
Within the context of the present study, mediation analysis
was conducted with latent variable scores obtained in P
alysis and then using these latent variable scores as an input
for the SPSS macro provided by Preacher and Hayes (2004).
The analysis showed that socially-prescribed perfectionism
mediated the relationship between controlling expectations and
self-esteem (indirect effect = –.13, Sobel z = 4.4, p < .001, 95%
CI: –.09: –.17). The sign of the indirect effect was consistent
with the interpretation that paternal controlling expectations
increase adolescents’ socially-prescribed perfectionism which
in turn lowers adolescents’ self-esteem.
Indirect Effect
According to Ho
fects can be disting
fects. Mediation is evident when there is an initial significant
association between the independent and the dependent variable
that is substantially reduced after taking the intervening vari-
able into account. An indirect effect is evident when there is no
initial relation between the independent and the dependent
variable but when there is a significant indirect effect of the
independent variable on the dependent variable through the
intervening variable. Sobel’s (1982) test can be used to assess
the significance of an indirect effect.
Within the context of the present study, given the lack of a
direct effect of controlling expectation
kes, only test for an indirect effect through socially-prescribed
perfectionism seem to be feasible. The analysis showed that a
significant indirect effect of controlling expectations on con-
cern over mistakes through socially-prescribed perfectionism
(indirect effect = .12, Sobel z = 3.3, p < .01, 95% CI: .08: .15).
The sign of the indirect effect was consistent with the interpret-
tation that paternal controlling expectations increase adoles-
cents’ socially-prescribed perfectionism which in turn increases
adolescents’ concern over mistakes.
s of the present
aternal psychol
scriminated along three dimensions: direct expectations, con-
trolling expectations, and effort approval. These three dimen-
sions are meaningfully related to differences in parenting prac-
tices identified in a significant body of research within area of
adolescent psychology (Lerner & Steinberg, 2009). Most im-
portantly, it was possible, using standard psychometric criteria,
to discriminate between paternal direct expectations and con-
trolling expectations. In context, this finding can be seen as
noteworthy since it indicates that fathers, albeit unwittingly, can
inform researchers of delicate differences in the manner in
which they communicate fundamental attributes within their
parenting repertoire (Soenens et al., 2005).
It should be noted that within the current dataset, the level of
fathers’ endorsement of controlling expecta
gh. This is indicated by the mean response level across the
relevant items shown in Table 1 which, at a mean of 3.4 out of
4, corresponds to “Agree” on the four-point Likert type scale.
However, the level of fathers’ endorsement of direct expecta-
tions, at a mean 2.3 out of 4, was low. It corresponds to “Dis-
agree” on the four-point Likert type scale. These findings can
be interpreted within the cultural context of the Arab society.
Egyptian and perhaps Qatari fathers are expected to be control-
ling, demanding, and evaluative of their adolescents’ perform-
ance. It is possible that Egyptian and Qatari fathers exerted high
levels of psychological control over their adolescents because
they are worried that their adolescents will turn out unsuccessful
and unruly or that their adolescents will increase separation and
independence from them. As such, Egyptian and perhaps Qatari
fathers as well use psychological control as a means to make
adolescents emotionally and psychologically dependent on
them. In such enmeshed families (Green & Werner, 1996),
adolescents are not allowed to have their own lives and experi-
ences because fathers may use control to keep family members
within strictly defined family boundaries.
The second notable finding revealed via the PLS path analy-
sis concerned the effect of paternal direct
ntrolling expectations on adolescents’ self-oriented perfec-
tionism. Specifically, fathers’ directed expectations correlated
positively with adolescents’ self-oriented perfectionism, how-
ever, fathers’ controlling expectations correlated negatively
with adolescents’ self-oriented perfectionism. Similar findings
were reported by Kenney-Benson and Pomerantz (2005) and
more recently by Hutchinson and Yates (2008). These findings
can be interpreted in terms of the ways in which parental (or at
least fathers’) expectations are articulated in the Arab society.
In some Egyptian and perhaps Qatari families, high achieve-
ment may simply be an expected outcome (i.e., direct expecta-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 435
tions), apparently without attached emotional messages. This
positive paternal practice can foster high performance standards
within adolescents. In line with this interpretation, the analysis
of the present dataset suggests the adaptive qualities of such
direct, uncluttered communication patterns: the self-oriented
factor, commonly documented as a key aspect of healthy per-
fectionism in adolescents, was high within adolescents when
fathers endorsed direct expectations. In other Egyptian and
perhaps Qatari families, achievement-related expectations are
likely to be tied to subtle emotional cues as to parental re-
quirements for the adolescent’s high achievement (i.e., control-
ling expectations). These paternal emotional messages may
adversely affect adolescents’ strive to perform at high standards.
Consistent with this reasoning, the analysis of the present data-
set suggests the maladaptive qualities of these controlling ex-
pectations. The path from fathers’ controlling expectations to
adolescents’ self-striving was a negative one, suggesting that
fathers’ control can work against the adolescents’ intrinsic de-
sire to succeed and perform perfectly, in a manner at variance
with fathers’ intentions.
The third notable finding concerned the effect of fathers’
controlling expectations on adolescents’ endorsement of mal-
tions is linked indirectly to adolescents’ fear
sentiments of non-contingent
cially-prescribed perfectionism as a mediator of the
are driven to
aptive perfectionistic orientations. Specifically, the PLS path
analysis showed that fathers’ psychological control is associ-
ated with two negative adolescent’s indices: directly with ex-
cessive concern with others’ views (generally known as so-
cially-prescribed perfectionism), and indirectly with the fear of
making mistakes. When fathers exert psychological control
over their adolescents, they may convey to adolescents that
concern about what others (or at least fathers) expect is essen-
tial to please them and, thereby, to receive their love and re-
spect. This means that others’ (or at least fathers’) approve of
the adolescent’s behavior is conditioned on whether the ado-
lescent meets specific standards for performance. Consistent
with this finding, Hutchinson and Yates (2008) reported that
maternal controlling expectations were directly related to so-
cially-prescribed perfectionism in a sample of Australian chil-
dren. Other lines of research are suggestive of the possibility
that parents’ exertion of (psychological) control may lead chil-
dren to become focused on others’ expectations that they be
perfect. For example, Flett, Hewitt, and Singer (1995) reported
that when male college students perceived their parents as more
authoritarian, they reported that others want them to be perfect,
but they themselves are not oriented toward perfectionism.
Likewise, Kenney-Benson and Pomerantz (2005) found that
mothers who were relatively controlling and interventionist in
task demands had children who reported high levels of socially-
prescribed perfectionism, together with elevated levels of de-
pressive thinking.
Furthermore, the PLS path analysis revealed that fathers’
controlling expecta
making mistakes (i.e., indirect effect). Specifically, fathers’
psychological control fosters adolescents’ excessive concern
about others which in turn links to adolescents’ fear of making
mistakes. This finding revealed a remarkable feature of adoles-
cents’ expressed concern about making mistakes, which is
commonly seen as a crucial aspect of maladaptive perfection-
ism (see Flett et al., 2002). Concern over mistakes appeared to
follow on from the adolescent’s concern about what others
expect (i.e., socially-prescribed perfectionism). Within hind-
sight, this appears to be a readily understood relationship: being
concerned about what others expect of you is likely to result in
high levels of concern about making mistakes. Consistent with
this finding, Enns, Cox, and Clara (2005) found concern over
mistakes have a significant positive relationship with socially-
prescribed perfectionism (r = .63) in a sample of first-year
medical students. Likewise, Hutchinson and Yates (2008) re-
ported that socially-prescribed perfectionism and concern over
mistakes correlated significantly and positively (r = .48) in a
sample of Australian children.
The fourth notable finding is that fathers’ effort approval, as
indexed by the endorsement of
couragement and support correlated positively with only one
index of adolescents’ perfectionistic orientation; self-oriented
perfectionism. The communication of direct expectations, within
the context of strong encouragement, can be interpreted as
highly consistent with contemporary notions about the learning
of self-regulation and the support of autonomy. Such theoretical
notions highlight the positive role of adult modeling coupled
with use of strong guidance cues within a supportive environ-
ment (Zimmerman, 2004). Most importantly however, is that
effort approval did play an imperative role in that its relative
absence apparently destroyed the relationship between fathers’
direct expectations and adolescent’s self-oriented perfectionism
(i.e., the moderation effect). This means that if parents (or at
least fathers) want their children to strive for self-set goals and
achievement, it appears important that a basal level of encour-
agement and non-contingent support is a necessary component
operating less as an energizing force but more as a moderating
factor. In this case, a moderating factor can be thought to oper-
ate as a switch, or threshold, which needs to reach a certain
level before other factors will function. The present dataset
attests that encouragement is a fundamental background attrib-
ute within the parent-adolescent relationship, even though en-
couragement as an independent variable may relate directly to
only one measurable adolescent outcome; self-oriented perfec-
The fifth notable finding concerned the role played by ado-
lescents’ so
lationship between fathers’ controlling expectations and ado-
lescents’ self-esteem (i.e., mediation effect). This finding is
consistent with recent research efforts that have proposed per-
fectionism as a possible intervening variable in the relationship
between parental psychological control and adolescents’ self-
esteem (e.g., Soenens et al., 2005). This finding can be inter-
preted within the framework of the self-determination theory
(Deci & Ryan, 2002) which proposes that environments in
which parents are psychologically controlling, distant, and
critical are more likely to promote the development of contin-
gent self-worth. Many researchers argue that the tendency to
experience insecure sense of self including unstable or low
self-esteem stems from conditional self-regard fostered by pa-
rental psychological control (Barber & Harmon, 2002). In sup-
port of the tenets of the self-determination theory, Bean and
Northrup (2009), working with a sample of Latino adolescents,
reported that fathers’ psychological control was a significant
negative predictor of Latino boys’ self-esteem, whereas psy-
chological control of both parents was significantly and nega-
tively related to self-esteem among Latino girls.
Furthermore, the self-determination theory proposes that in-
dividuals with a contingent sense of self-worth
ntinually validate their worth as people through the attain-
ment of either internally or externally imposed criteria (i.e.,
socially-prescribed perfectionism). The perceived failure to
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
reach the perceived expectations of others or self-imposed
standards will in turn lead to a plummet in self-esteem (Deci &
Ryan, 2002). Consistent with this notion, Sorotzkin (1985)
noted that for socially-prescribed perfectionists, as motivated
by profound insecurity to continue attempting to gain accep-
tance from parents and significant others through performance
accomplishments and faultless behavior, “any deviation from
the perfectionistic goal is likely to be accompanied by moralis-
tic self-criticism and lowered self-esteem” (p. 564).
To summarize, the current findings provide further insight
into the dynamics which underpin the development of a perfec-
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Appendix I. Perfectionism
Self-Oriented Perfectionism
1) It is very important that I am perfect in everything I at-
2) I strive to be perfect as I can.
3) It makes me uneasy to see an error in my work.
4) I am perfectionistic in setting my goals.
5) I set very high standards for myself.
Socially-Prescribed Perfectionism
1) The people around me expect me to succeed in everything
I do.
2) Success means that I must work even harder to please
3) My family expects me to be perfect.
4) People expect nothing less than perfection from me.
5) People expect more from me than I am capable of giving.
6) I find it difficult to meet others’ expectations of me.
Concern over Mistakes
1) If I fail partly, it is as bad as being a complete failure.
2) People will probably think less of me if I make a mistake.
3) I should be upset if I make a mistake.
4) If I do not do well all the time, people will not respect me.
5) If I fail at work/school, I am a failure as a person.
6) The fewer mistakes I make, the more people will like me.
Appendix II. Parental Goals Questionnaire
Direct Expectations
1) It is important to me that my child sets higher goals than
most people.
2) I have high standards for my child’s performance at
3) It is important for me that my child be competitive in aca-
demic pursuits.
4) I set high standards for my child.
5) I feel it is important to know how my child is performing
compared with their
6) School work should consistently challenge and extend my
Controlling Expectations
1) I often feel frustrated because my child does not meet my
2) Only outstanding performance is good enough in our fam-
3) I am fearful of my child making mistakes.
4) I have higher expectations for my child’s future than my
child has.
5) I still praise my child’s efforts even if they have not met
my expectations. (Reverse scored)
6) I hardly ever feel that what my child does is good enough.
Effort Approval
1) I would be pleased if my child did their best, but did not
get the top mark in a test.
2) I think trying hard is more important than being the best.
3) My child’s happiness is more important to me than his or
her academic success.
Appendix III. Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale
1) I feel that I’m a person of worth, at least on an equal plane
with others.
2) I feel that I have a number of good qualities.
3) All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.
4) I am able to do things as well as most other people.
5) I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
6) I take a positive attitude toward myself.
7) On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.
8) I wish I could have more respect for myself.
9) I certainly feel useless at times.
10) At times I think I am no good at all.
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