I Came Through You and Belong Not to You: Overparenting, Attachment, Autonomy, and Mental Health at Emerging Adulthood
basic psychological needs satisfaction
AdvisorSegrin, Chris C.S.
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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.
AbstractResearch on overparenting (a.k.a. helicopter parenting) shows that it is associated with many negative qualities of the parent and the child, among which is mental distress. Guided by attachment theory, self-determination theory, bidirectional effects in parenting and child characteristics, and interpersonal theories of mental health, the present studies examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between overparenting and the mental health of both emerging adults and their parents as well as associated mechanisms. Study 1 was a six-month longitudinal study and collected data from American parents and emerging adult children. Results showed that overparenting prospectively predicted emerging adults’ attachment avoidance in romantic relationships. Moreover, emerging adults’ mental distress prospectively predicted overparenting, but not vice versa. For parents, neither prospective nor cross-sectional associations were observed between parental mental distress and overparenting. Study 2 was a cross-sectional study and collected data from 196 Chinese emerging adults. Results showed that overparenting was positively associated with child mental distress, and this effect was mediated by unfulfilled psychological needs. Altogether, the findings from the present studies suggest overparenting as a response to child mental distress during emerging adulthood, and the effect from overparenting on child mental distress might be more temporary than enduring, if any. Parental mental distress was not associated with overparenting.
Degree ProgramGraduate College