Parent and child traits associated with overparenting

Chris Segrin, Alesia Woszidlo, Michelle Givertz, Neil Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Overparenting involves the application of developmentally inappropriate levels of parental directiveness, tangible assistance, problem-solving, monitoring, and involvement into the lives of children. Based on theories of family enmeshment, effective parenting, and personality development, this parenting behavior was hypothesized to be associated with negative traits in parents (i.e., anxiety and regret) as well as in young adult children (i.e., narcissism, poor coping styles, anxiety, and stress). Participants were 653 parent-adult child dyads from 32 of the 50 United States who completed measures of overparenting and maladaptive traits. A latent variables analysis showed that parental anxiety was positively associated with overparenting, and that parental regret had an indirect effect on overparenting through greater anxiety. In adult children, overparenting was associated with higher levels of narcissism and more ineffective coping skills (e.g., internalizing, distancing). These ineffective coping skills were associated with greater anxiety and stress in young adult children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-595
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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