Objective: To examine the relationship between parent–child attachment and overparenting during emerging adulthood. Background: Overparenting, a form of developmentally inappropriate parenting that features parental over-involvement and autonomy-constraining behavior, has been found to relate to a variety of negative child outcomes; however, there is currently a great need for research that attempts to explain why parents engage in overparenting. Method: Cross-sectional data were collected from 213 parent–emerging-adult-child dyads. Parents completed questionnaires assessing attachment toward their child and overparenting. Emerging-adult children completed questionnaires assessing attachment toward their parent. Results: Multiple regression results showed parents' attachment anxiety with their children positively predicted overparenting, and parents' attachment avoidance negatively predicted overparenting. Additionally, a positive association was observed between children's attachment avoidance with their parents and overparenting. Conclusion: Overall, the results show that parents were practicing overparenting largely as a function of their own attachment needs rather than their child's attachment characteristics. Implications: The results indicate that those who engage in overparenting may in fact be regulating their own affect as opposed to considering their emerging-adult child's developmental needs.
- attachment anxiety
- attachment avoidance
- child traits effect
- parent–child relationship
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)