New research into the effects of perfectionistic parenting and its impact on childhood anxieties

In a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, researchers investigated the impact of perfectionistic rearing behaviors by parents on children. Results showed that while all children showed an increase in their self-oriented perfectionism under perfectionist rearing conditions, it was children in the non-perfectionistic rearing condition that improved significantly in task accuracy performance.

"In our perfectionistic rearing condition, we trained parents to focus on "getting it just right" and to focus on the child's mistakes and the negative consequences of those mistakes. This research found that the consequence of this behavior is that it increased the child's perfectionism but it did not necessarily result in improved performance," says researcher Associate Professor Jennifer Hudson, Macquarie University, Centre for Emotional Health.

The study also looked at the impact of this parenting behavior on a child's anxiety. While perfectionistic rearing had a similar impact on how both anxious and non-anxious children performed, overall self-oriented perfectionism was significantly higher in the anxious group compared with the non-anxious group.

"It is important to point out that there have been several lines of evidence to indicate a relationship between increased perfectionism and higher ," says Hudson.

The results of this research highlight the potential impact that perfectionistic rearing behaviors may have on the development of anxiety in children.

"These results are remarkable given that they show that even a very short interaction between a parent and child can already affect perfectionism and task performance," says Hudson.

This study is the first attempt from researchers to explore the relationship between perfectionism and maternal anxious rearing behaviors in . It makes an important contribution to the limited literature available on the development of and also could assist psychologists from a therapeutic point of view in the treatment of childhood emotional disorders.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A good night's sleep even more elusive for anxious children

Apr 22, 2009

Managing routine sleep problems in children can be a testing time for parents as well as being highly stressful for the child. Add a child with anxiety to the mix and a good night’s sleep for everyone can be elusive if ...

Recommended for you

Neonatal vitamin K refusal tied to nonimmunization

Aug 20, 2014

(HealthDay)—While neonatal vitamin K refusal is rare, parents who refuse vitamin K are less likely to immunize their child, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in Pediatrics.

Teen sleeplessness piles on risk for obesity

Aug 20, 2014

Teenagers who don't get enough sleep may wake up to worse consequences than nodding off during chemistry class. According to new research, risk of being obese by age 21 was 20 percent higher among 16-year-olds who got less ...

Researchers show economic disparities impact infant health

Aug 20, 2014

Women who are poor experience higher cortisol levels in pregnancy and give birth to infants with elevated levels of the stress hormone, putting them at greater risk for serious disease later in life, according to a new research ...

User comments