Parental overprotection revisited


Dimensions of parental overprotection are clarified in a critical review of the research and clinical literature. An indulgent style of parenting is distinguished from an overprotective parent-child relationship. Differential antecedents and outcomes are proposed for each of these forms of parent-child interaction. Measures of protection are reviewed. A new conceptual model of parental overprotection is presented which takes into account child, parent, family, socio-cultural, environmental and resiliency factors. Directions for future research are suggested.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael Thomasgard MD.

Additional information

This paper was begun when Dr. Thomasgard was a fellow in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Lionel Hersov, Gregg Drevno and Karen Ormachea for graciously reviewing early drafts of this paper. Supported, in part, by Maternal and Child Health Training Grant MCJ-9092 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Thomasgard, M., Metz, W.P. Parental overprotection revisited. Child Psych Hum Dev 24, 67–80 (1993).

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Key words

  • Parental overprotection
  • Parent-child relationship disorder