E-mail Bart Soenens
Phone 09 264 91 34
Room number 150.041
Category Tenured academic staff
Research My main research interest is in the relation between parental rearing style and adolescents’ wellbeing and psychosocial functioning. My research addresses diverse dimensions of parenting style, including responsiveness (support), behavioral control (regulation), and autonomy-support. I have a particular fascination for the processes and dynamics (i.e., antecedents and mediators) involved in parental psychological control – a parenting dimension that has been found to predict psychopathological outcomes in children and adolescents, such as depressive symptoms and eating disorders. Apart from this research line on parenting I am involved in research on such topics as motivation, identity development, religion, and prejudice.
Bibliography Bibliography
Links Summary and full text of my PhD ('Psychologically controlling parenting and adolescent psychosocial adjustment : antecedents, mediating factors, and longitudinal dynamics')
Self-determination theory
Here you can find a questionnaire tapping into 4 core dimensions of parenting style which we have been using a lot in our research. This questionnaire can be administered to both adolescents and parents. The file also contains references to studies providing validity and psychometric information of the scales.

Parents' frequency of introducing rules or prohibitions and their style of introducting those rules or prohibitions may differ by life domain. This questionnaire taps into the frequency, style, and perceived legitimacy of parental prohibition in the domains of morality and friendships. This questionnaire can be easily translated to other life domains as well.

Children and adolescents can have different reasons to follow their parents rules and prohibitions. These reasons vary on a continuüm of internalization. This questionnaire taps into different reasons to follow parental rules, ranging from straightforward defiance against parental authority (rebellion) to acceptance and endorsement of parental rules (identification).


This recently developed and validated questionnaire taps into two domain-specific expressions of parental psychological control: (a) dependency-oriented psychological control (aimed at keeping a child within close boundaries) and (b) achievement-oriented psychological control (aimed at pushing a child to strive for excellence).


This questionnaire is available in different languages:



Recent publications
  • Berzonsky, M. D., Soenens, B., Luyckx, K., Smits, I., Papini, D. R., & Goossens, L. (in press). Development and validation of the Revised Identity Style Inventory (ISI-5): Factor structure, reliability, and convergent validity. Psychological Assessment.

    • Brenning, K., Soenens, B., Braet, C., & Beyers, W. (in press). Longitudinal dynamics of depressogenic personality and attachment dimensions in adolescence: An examination of associations with changes in depressive symptoms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

      • Chen, B., Beyers, W., Vansteenkiste, M., Soenens, B., & Van Petegem, S. (in press). Autonomy in family decision-making for Chinese adolescents: Disentangling the dual meaning of autonomy in a cross-cultural context. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

        • De Haan, A., Soenens, B., Prinzie, P., & Dekovic, M. (in press). Effects of childhood aggression on parenting during Adolescence: The role of parental psychological need satisfaction. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

          • Kins, E., Soenens, B., & Beyers, W. (in press). Separation anxiety in families with emerging adults. Journal of Family Psychology.

            • Stone, L., Otten, R., Janssens, J. M. A. M., Soenens, B., Kuntsche, E., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (in press). Does parental psychological control relate to internalizing and externalizing problems in early childhood? An examination using the Berkeley Puppet Interview. International Journal of Behavioral Development.

              • Vansteenkiste, M., Soenens, B., Van Petegem, S., & Duriez, B. (in press). How are domain and style of parental prohibition related to adolescents’ oppositional defiance and internalization? Developmental Psychology.

                • Ahmad, I., Vansteenkiste, M., & Soenens, B. (2013). The relations of Arab Jordanian adolescents’ perceived maternal parenting to teacher-rated adjustment and problems: The intervening role of perceived need satisfaction. Developmental Psychology, 49, 177-183.

                      • Kins, E., Beyers, W., & Soenens, B. (2013). When the separation-individuation process goes awry: Distinguishing between dysfunctional dependence and dysfunctional independence. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37, 1-12.

                          • Verstuyf, J., Vansteenkiste, M., Soenens, B., Boone, L., & Mouratidis, A. (2013). Daily ups and downs in women’s binge eating symptoms: The role of basic psychological needs, general self-control, and emotional eating. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 32, 335-361.

                            • Boone, L., Soenens, B., Mouratidis, A., Vansteenkiste, M., Verstuyf, J., & Braet, C. (2012). Daily fluctuations in perfectionism dimensions and their relation to eating disorder symptoms. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 678-687.

                                  • Brenning, K., Soenens, B., Braet, C., & Bal, S. (2012). The role of parenting and mother-adolescent attachment in the intergenerational similarity of depressive symptoms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 802-816.

                                    • Duriez, B., Klimstra, T. A., Luyckx, K., Beyers, W., & Soenens, B. (2012). Right-wing authoritarianism: Protective factor against or risk factor for depression? European Journal of Personality, 26, 536-549.
                                    • Kins, E., Soenens, B., & Beyers, W. (2012). Parental psychological control and dysfunctional separation-individuation: A tale of two different dynamics. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1099-1109.

                                            • Soenens, B., Sierens, E.,Vansteenkiste, M., Goossens, L., & Dochy, F. (2012). Psychologically controlling teaching: Examining outcomes, antecedents, and mediators. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 108-120.

                                                • Vansteenkiste, M., Sierens, E., Goossens, L., Soenens, B., Dochy, F., Mouratidis, A., Aelterman, N., Haerens, L., & Beyers, W. (2012). Identifying configurations of perceived teacher autonomy support and structure: Associations with self-regulated learning, motivation, and problem behavior. Learning and Instruction, 22, 431-439.

                                                        • Brenning, K., Soenens, B., Braet, C., & Bosmans, G. (2011). Attachment anxiety and avoidance in middle childhood and early adolescence: The development of a child version of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale – Revised. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 28, 1048-1072.

                                                          • Boone, L., Soenens, B., & Braet, C. (2011). Perfectionism, body dissatisfaction, and bulimic symptoms: The intervening role of perceived pressure to be thin and thin ideal internalization. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30, 1043-1038.

                                                            • Kins, E., Soenens, B., & Beyers, W. (2011). “Why do they have to grow up so fast?” Parental separation anxiety and emerging adults’ pathology of separation-individuation.Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67, 647-664.

                                                              • Miklikowska, M., Duriez, B., & Soenens, B. (2011). Family roots of empathy-related characteristics: The role of perceived maternal and paternal need support in adolescence.Developmental Psychology, 47, 1342-1352.

                                                                      • Smits, I., Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Luyckx, K., & Goossens, L. (2010). Why do adolescents gather information or stick to parental norms? Examining autonomous and controlled motives behind adolescents’ identity style. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39,1343-1356.

                                                                        • Soenens, B., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2010). A theoretical upgrade of the concept of parental psychological control: Proposing new insights on the basis of self-determination theory. Developmental Review, 30,  74-99.



                                                                        • Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., & Luyten, P. (2010). Towards a domain-specific approach to the study of parental psychological control: Distinguishing between dependency-oriented and achievement-oriented psychological control. Journal of Personality, 78 , 217-256.



                                                                        • Kins, E., Beyers, W., Soenens, B., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2009). Patterns of home leaving and subjective well-being in emerging adulthood: The role of motivational processes and parental autonomy support. Developmental Psychology, 45,  1416-1429.



                                                                        • Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., & Niemiec, C. P. (2009). Should parental prohibition of adolescents’ peer relationships be prohibited? The role of parental autonomy-support and control. Personal Relationships, 16,  507-530.



                                                                        • Vansteenkiste, M., Sierens, E., Soenens, B., Luyckx, K., & Lens, W. (2009). Motivational profiles from a self-determination perspective: The quality of motivation matters. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101,  671-688.


































                                                                        Selected conference presentations