Parents use a variety of different methods to control their children. As well as using discipline and rewards some parents also use psychological control - which may include emotional manipulation, criticism or excessive personal control - while others use physical punishment. Researchers at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium studied 600 children between the ages of 8 and 10 comparing the way children managed their relationships with the way their parents disciplined them. Parents' use of physical punishment was significantly linked to the children's level of physical aggression both at home and at school. Parental psychological control was significantly linked to the children's use of relational aggression - the purposeful manipulation or damage to relationships through silent treatment, social exclusion or the spreading of malicious rumours - although this was only significant at home.
You can find out more about this research at