Parent–Emerging-Adult-Child Attachment and Overparenting

Jian Jiao, Chris Segrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between parent–child attachment and overparenting during emerging adulthood. Background: Overparenting, a form of developmentally inappropriate parenting that features parental over-involvement and autonomy-constraining behavior, has been found to relate to a variety of negative child outcomes; however, there is currently a great need for research that attempts to explain why parents engage in overparenting. Method: Cross-sectional data were collected from 213 parent–emerging-adult-child dyads. Parents completed questionnaires assessing attachment toward their child and overparenting. Emerging-adult children completed questionnaires assessing attachment toward their parent. Results: Multiple regression results showed parents' attachment anxiety with their children positively predicted overparenting, and parents' attachment avoidance negatively predicted overparenting. Additionally, a positive association was observed between children's attachment avoidance with their parents and overparenting. Conclusion: Overall, the results show that parents were practicing overparenting largely as a function of their own attachment needs rather than their child's attachment characteristics. Implications: The results indicate that those who engage in overparenting may in fact be regulating their own affect as opposed to considering their emerging-adult child's developmental needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-865
Number of pages7
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • attachment anxiety
  • attachment avoidance
  • child traits effect
  • overparenting
  • parent–child relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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