The Co-Construction of Overparenting: Emerging Adult Children’s Need for Autonomy and Communication Competence
KeywordsChild traits effect
Family systems approach
Need for autonomy
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis reviewed the literature on overparenting and aimed to examine the underexplored role of emerging adult children in influencing overparenting. Specifically, the features, antecedents, and outcomes of overparenting in multiple cultural contexts were comprehensively reviewed. Based on previous literature and grounded within family systems approach, this thesis argues for a move from the traditional approach to overparenting which largely assumes parents are primarily responsible for overparenting toward a more comprehensive approach examining both parents’ and children’s contribution to overparenting. Compared to childhood and adolescence, need for autonomy, a central construct in self-determination theory, is more salient during emerging adulthood. Together with the importance of parental perception of child traits in parenting, it was hypothesized that child need for autonomy negatively predicts overparenting through parent perceived child need for autonomy. Additionally, considering individual differences in need for autonomy and the role of communication competence in enhancing awareness of current needs, it was hypothesized that child communication competence encourages or discourages overparenting by strengthening the association between child need for autonomy and parental perception of child need for autonomy. Data from 169 parent-young adult child dyads were used to test the hypotheses. Results confirmed both parents’ and young adult children’s roles in overparenting. Specifically, parental perception of child need for autonomy negatively predicted parental tangible assistance and positively predicted parental advice/affect management. Young adult child negative assertion competence enhanced parental awareness and understanding of child need for autonomy. Overall, the findings point toward the developmental nature of overparenting wherein parents shift overparenting practices during emerging adulthood to reduce tangible assistance as a possible first step in granting more autonomy, and children’s negative assertion competence could assist this transition.
Degree ProgramGraduate College