Overparenting refers to developmentally inappropriate and excessive parental involvement in the child’s life, which is most often studied in the context of relationships between parents and young adult children. Driven by emerging research evidence suggesting that overparenting’s manifestation and significance could vary dependent on the child’s developmental stage, the current study is the first to examine the phenomenon in the context of parent-child relationship in parents of elementary school age children. The sample comprised 306 parents (51% mothers) of at least one elementary school child, who, using a battery of valid instruments, self-reported their overparenting practices, parent-child relationship (satisfaction, positive involvement, communication), and two central parental psychological characteristics (subjective well-being, parental self-efficacy). The results of a structural equation model indicated that the maternal and paternal overparenting latent construct was strongly associated with the latent construct of parent-child relationship which, in turn, was positively associated with both subjective parental well-being and self-efficacy (i.e., parent-child relationship significantly mediated the association between overparenting and parental psychological characteristics). These findings applied similarly for both parents, although were somewhat more noticeable for fathers than for mothers. Subject to the study’s limitations, we cautiously concluded that in certain developmental conditions (i.e., young school age), overparenting practices could be normative and even authoritative-like parenting.
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- Parent-child relationship
- Parental self-efficacy