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This type of parenting can cause depression in children

Harper's Bazaar (UK) logo Harper's Bazaar (UK) 1/08/2017 The Editors

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As a parent, finding the right balance between encouraging your child to do well and letting them figure things out for themselves can be extremely difficult. A 2014 survey of UK parents found 61 per cent met the "pushy" criteria, with nearly 40 per cent admitting to enlisting a family or friend into helping cajole kids down a certain path. Now, new data suggests that such behaviour can have a negative effect on children.

The research, published online by the Journal of Personality, showed that the pressures of schoolwork, and fears of not meeting parental expectations, made youngsters self-critical. Psychologists said that those with intrusive parents also displayed more anxiety and depression symptoms.

This type of parenting can cause depression in children © Getty Images This type of parenting can cause depression in children The study, which examined 263 seven-year-old primary-school pupils in Singapore over a five-year period, showed that parents who had high expectations of their children's academic performance demonstrated this by urging them to have good grades. Alternatively, they may overreact when the child makes a mistake or encourage them to go down certain career paths.

Professor Ryan Hong, of the National University of Singapore, said, "When parents are intrusive it may signal to the children that what they do is never good enough. The child may become afraid of making the slightest mistake and blame him or herself for not being 'perfect'. Over time, such behaviour – known as maladaptive perfectionism or the 'bad' form of perfectionism – may be detrimental to the child, as it increases the risk of depression, anxiety and even suicide."

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