In Your Kid's Face? Watch Out For Depression or Anxiety In Him

I'm guilty of this.

I'm an overprotective (some might call it "intrusive") parent and now a new study is saying that parents like me could lead my son to be overly critical of himself. High levels of self-criticalness are linked to depression and anxiety

Great.  I've tried so hard to be a good parent, given my late start, and now this. reports that, in a five-year study on primary school children in Singapore, researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that children with intrusive parents had a higher tendency to be overly critical of themselves and this tendency increased over the years. Children in the study who demonstrated high or increased levels of self-criticalness also reported elevated depression or anxiety symptoms. The study examined how maladaptive perfectionism - commonly known as the ‘bad’ form of perfectionism - develops in primary school children in Singapore.

“When parents become intrusive in their children’s lives, it may signal to the children that what they do is never good enough. As a result, the child may become afraid of making the slightest mistake and will blame himself or herself for not being ‘perfect’. Over time, such behaviour, known as maladaptive perfectionism, may be detrimental to the child’s well-being as it increases the risk of the child developing symptoms of depression, anxiety and even suicide in very serious cases,” says Assistant Professor Ryan Hong, who led the study which was conducted by a team of researchers from the Department of Psychology at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. 

I don't think I'm truly intrusive.  I don't read his texts (though when the phone beeps when I'm with him, I do ask who it is), I don't monitor his phone calls.  I let him see his friends whenever he wants.  I admit, I've become a bit of a bug about grades.  My son is an honor student so he usually gets good ones.  But when I see a "B," I admit, I do sometimes ask, "Why wasn't it an 'A'?"

Coming from me, the "C" student.

I try to restrain myself but, like all parents, I want what's best for my kid and I know good grades lead, eventually, to good colleges and good jobs. 

This NUS study examined two aspects of maladaptive perfectionism in children: self-criticalness, which is the tendency to be overly concerned over one’s mistakes and imperfections; and socially prescribed perfectionism, which is one’s perception of others having unrealistic high expectations of oneself.

In the study, Asst Prof Hong and his team recruited children who were seven years old from 10 primary schools in Singapore, and for each family, the parent more familiar with the child was involved in the study. The research was conducted over a five year period, from 2010 to 2014.

While other studies on maladaptive perfectionism focused primarily on adolescents and college students, this NUS study is unique as it demonstrates the link between parental intrusiveness and self-criticalness among young primary school children.


Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

End Your Texts With a Period? Don't