Too Much of a Good Thing: Perceived Overparenting and Wellbeing of Chinese Adolescents in Hong Kong

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Overparenting refers to a developmentally inappropriate parenting style that parents over-involve into the lives of their children and overprotect them from challenges and obstacles. Based on a sample of 1735 secondary school students in Hong Kong, the relationship between perceived overparenting and adolescent wellbeing (indexed by life satisfaction, anxiety and depression) was examined. The moderating effects of adolescent gender, family structure and parent-child conflict were also assessed. The results indicated that while paternal overparenting was positively linked to adolescents’ life satisfaction, maternal overparenting was positively associated with anxiety and depression of adolescents. Furthermore, it was found that father-child conflict moderated the associations of paternal overparenting with adolescent anxiety and depression respectively. At lower levels of father-child conflict, paternal overparenting was negatively associated with both adolescent anxiety and depression, but the relationship was non-significant at higher levels of father-child conflict. Moreover, maternal overparenting was positively associated with life satisfaction and negatively related to depression for adolescents growing up in non-intact families (i.e., divorced, separated and widowed families, and those families with second marriage). In intact families, maternal overparenting did not relate to adolescent life satisfaction, but was positively associated with adolescent depression. The findings provide empirical evidence on the relationships between overparenting and wellbeing of Chinese adolescents, and suggest how family structure and dynamics alter the relationships, which offer important insights on how such emergent parenting style may have impacts on adolescent psychological wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Indicators Research
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020


  • Adolescent wellbeing
  • Chinese
  • Life satisfaction
  • Overparenting
  • Parent-child conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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