Moderating the Association Between Overparenting and Mental Health: Open Family Communication and Emerging Adult Children’s Trait Autonomy
Research shows that overparenting (a.k.a. helicopter parenting) is associated with many child issues, among which disrupted mental health is one of the most consistently observed. The present study aims to examine if open family communication and child trait autonomy alter the associations between overparenting and emerging adult children’s general self-efficacy, environmental mastery, anxiety, and depression. Cross-sectional data were collected from college students (N = 442, M age = 20.28 years, SD = 1.48) in the United States. Results showed that open family communication strengthened the negative association between overparenting and environmental mastery, and trait autonomy weakened the negative association between overparenting and general self-efficacy. None of these two moderators altered the associations between overparenting and child anxiety and depression. The effects of open family communication and trait autonomy in a controlling context are discussed. Overall, notwithstanding the moderation effects observed from open family communication and trait autonomy, the findings suggest that the effects of overparenting might be difficult to buffer.
Jiao, Jian and Segrin, Chris. (2023). "Moderating the Association Between Overparenting and Mental Health: Open Family Communication and Emerging Adult Children’s Trait Autonomy". Journal of Child and Family Studies, 32(3), 652-662. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-022-02528-2