Motivation for agreement with parental values: Desirable when autonomous, problematic when controlled

Ariel Knafo*, Avi Assor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Two studies examined the well-being and parenting correlates of autonomous and controlled motivations for agreement with parental values. We hypothesized that autonomous motivation would be associated with subjective well-being, whereas controlled motivation would be associated with agitation and guilt. Study 1 involved 399 Israeli youth (mean age = 23.8) and Study 2 involved 131 Israeli adolescents (mean age = 16.9). Results of both studies supported the hypotheses. The findings suggest that only autonomous motivation for agreement with parents' values is positively associated with well-being. This effect is over and above the extent of agreement between offspring values and perceived parents' values, and highlights the importance of distinguishing between autonomous and controlled endorsement of values.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)232-245
Number of pages14
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The work of the first author was supported by a Kreitman Foundation fellowship. Study 2 was supported by a Young Scientist Grant from the German-Israeli Foundation for Research and Development to the first author. The work of the second author and Study 1 were supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation and the US Israel Bi-National Science Foundation.


  • Autonomy support
  • Internalization
  • Motivation
  • Parenting
  • Socialization
  • Values


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