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07-10-2019 | Original Paper

Overparenting and Emerging Adults’ Mental Health: The Mediating Role of Emotional Distress Tolerance

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Auteurs:
Christopher M. Perez, Bonnie C. Nicholson, Eric R. Dahlen, Melanie E. Leuty
Belangrijke opmerkingen
These authors contributed equally: B.C. Nicholson, E.R. Dahlen, M.E. Leuty
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

Overparenting is a type of parental control that involves high levels of age-inappropriate intrusiveness, which may hinder the development autonomous behavior in emerging adulthood. Overparenting has been linked to poor mental health in emerging adult college students. However, little is known about the mechanisms involved in this relationship. Emotional distress tolerance (i.e., ability to withstand negative emotional states) has been inversely associated with a number of mental health concerns and has not yet been examined in relation to overparenting. We proposed that emotional distress tolerance may be one mechanism by which overparenting is associated with poor mental health among emerging adults. We examined the direct role of overparenting in relation to mental health symptoms and predicted that emotional distress tolerance would mediate this relationship.

Methods

College student volunteers (N = 360) completed measures of perceived overparenting, emotional distress, and emotional distress tolerance.

Results

When controlling for race and living situation, emotional distress tolerance mediated the relationship between overparenting and emotional distress among college students.

Conclusions

Findings from this study help to explain the possible impact of overparenting behaviors on mental health and provide an intervention point for students struggling with exercising autonomous behaviors during the transition to college.

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