College students whose parents attempt to control them through guilt, shame, or manipulation may cope with their stress by being mean to their peers, according to a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
How Controlling Parenting Contributes to Problematic Behavior
Jamie Abaied, a University of Vermont assistant professor of psychological science, and her colleagues recruited 180 college students, most of whom were female. College students are often still financially or emotionally dependent upon their parents, the researchers say, so parenting style can continue to influence them even when they reach legal adulthood.
Each student completed a questionnaire about their parents’ behavior. Parents who engaged in behavior such as withdrawing money or criticizing their children were deemed highly controlling. The use of digital technologies such as texting and social media may further controlling behavior because it allows parents and their children to stay in constant contact. Thus parents no longer need to see or live with their children to manipulate their behavior.emotional distress. Students with higher levels of stress were more likely to react in aggressive or impulsive ways, such as sending a mean-spirited text or email.
Students who displayed higher levels of aggression were more likely to have controlling parents. The connection between relational aggression and controlling parenting has already been demonstrated in younger children, but this study is one of the first to look at controlling parenting in adult children.
Shapiro, C. (2016, January 20). Study: What happens when controlling parents follow kids to college. Retrieved from http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Page=news&storyID=22157&category=ucommfeature
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