Overparenting research has been primarily confined to parents of adult, college-aged children. Few studies have examined overparenting among parents of early adolescent children, particularly in non-academic out-of-school time settings. The present study examined the relation between overparenting, commonly associated parental behaviors, and child gender, to determine if, in a sample of 169 parents of youth ages 11–17 (M = 15.49), the same relations would be present as in prior overparenting research with emerging adult samples.
Data were collected using a cross-sectional design with a questionnaire administered to parents following their child’s participation in a one-week university-based residential summer camp. The initial seven-factor scale included items related to overparenting, affect management, parental monitoring, digital limit setting, psychological control, risk aversion, and autonomy granting. The final seven-factor 22-item measure was validated through confirmatory factor analysis and study hypotheses were tested through a structural equation model.
Consistent with much of the overparenting literature involving parents of emerging adults, overparenting had a significant positive direct effect on affect management, parental monitoring, parental digital limit setting, psychological control, and risk aversion, and a significant negative direct effect on autonomy granting. No relation was found between child gender and affect management, parental monitoring, parental digital limit setting, overparenting, risk aversion, psychological control, or autonomy granting.
The findings were partly consistent with prior studies of emerging adults and have implications for our understanding of overparenting during adolescence as well as within the out-of-school time contexts in which overparenting research is emerging.