Research on parenting strictness is difficult to conduct and interpret because family life involves many confounding variables. Parental strictness is associated with characteristics of children, such as their activity levels, and characteristics of their living situations. For instance a family living in an upstairs apartment may be under more pressure than a family in a house with a garden to keep children quiet. If children from strict families behave better – or, possibly worse – than children with laxer parents, it is hard to know whether the children’s development was determined by the parenting behaviour or by other related factors such as the child’s ranking in the family amongst others. This research is ongoing.
However past research on psychological control looked at a factor called intrusiveness as an important aspect of strict parenting. Intrusive parenting involves high levels of personal control by parents who can be described as both possessive and authoritative, as well as abnormally overprotective. This personal control is manifested in negative and constant critical remarks towards the child. Sir Michael Barber , well known Educationist concluded already in 1996 that intrusive parenting “… potentially inhibits or intrudes upon psychological development” and is “ a consistent negative and inhibiting experience for children”. Such children would then internalise their problems and manifest problems such as excessive worry, stomach aches with no physical cause, etc.
What this space for more articles on parenting style….