"I will guide you" The indirect link between overparenting and young adults' adjustment

Sofie Rousseau, Miri Scharf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


This study addresses knowledge gaps regarding family dynamics, and identifies young adults at-risk for psychopathological symptoms. In particular, we examined overparenting and its associations with young adults[U+05F3] adjustment (distress and interpersonal sensitivity). Both direct and indirect relations were assessed, the latter through young adults[U+05F3] relational characteristics (attachment, psychological control perception, and boundaries diffusion perception). Also, the contribution of gender of parents and young adults was addressed. Questionnaires were collected from 89 Jewish-Israeli intact families. Mothers reported significantly more use of overparenting than fathers. More overparenting of fathers had a direct relation with less adjustment in young adults. This direct relation was partially mediated by higher levels of young adults[U+05F3] attachment anxiety (for the dependent variables distress and interpersonal sensitivity) and young adults[U+05F3] perceptions of parental psychological control (for the dependent variable distress). More overparenting of mothers was related to less interpersonal sensitivity for male young adults and for young adults who reported less parental psychological control. This study showed that parenting qualities and their interplay with young adults[U+05F3] relational characteristics continue to play an important role in the lives of young adult offspring. Therefore, clinicians dealing with young adults at risk for, or suffering from, psychopathology, should be attentive to overparenting and its possible implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-834
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Attachment
  • Boundaries diffusion
  • Distress
  • Interpersonal sensitivity
  • Mothers and fathers
  • Psychological control


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