Harmful perfectionism in women may be more related to their relationship with their father than their mother, according to a study.
And the same trends in men may be more tied to their relationship with their mother, the researchers found.
The team studied three types of perfectionism: self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed (SPP) perfectionism.
Self-Oriented Perfectionism is when a person demands perfection from themselves, Other-Oriented Perfectionism is the requirement for others to be perfect, and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism (SPP) is the person’s belief that others Others demand perfection from them.
Are you a perfectionist? Blame your mom and dad! People with overprotective parents are more likely to strive for excellence (file image)
Stressed-out parents may be to blame for their kids’ ‘terrible two years’
It is known as one of the most troublesome periods in a baby’s life, dreaded by new parents.
Now, researchers at King’s College London may have finally discovered what triggers the so-called ‘terrible twos’, a period of troubled development characterized by tantrums, yelling, crying and repeated use of the word ‘no’.
The experts found a link between parents experiencing too much stress in the months after their child is born and the child’s subsequent development of emotional and behavioral problems by age two.
It’s possible that stressed-out parents have a “negative parenting style” that causes their children’s problems, according to the researchers.
Of the three types, SPP is considered particularly harmful, with much research demonstrating “consistent and strong associations with a myriad of adverse mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and interpersonal problems,” the researchers said. University of British Columbia in Canada.
“People with socially prescribed perfectionism have a perception that others demand that they be perfect,” said lead author Sabrina Ge.
‘”Others” can refer to specific people, for example, a partner or a parent, but it can also refer to people the person does not know, or people in general, for example, the world.’
For their study, psychologists gave 456 participants a questionnaire that assessed their levels of the three different types of perfectionism.
They were asked to rate on a scale how much they agreed with statements measuring self-directed perfectionism, such as ‘One of my goals is to be perfect in everything I do’; other oriented perfectionism, for example, ‘I can’t stand to see people close to me make mistakes’; and SPP, for example, ‘The people around me expect me to be successful in everything I do.’
They were then given another questionnaire, the Parental Bonding Instrument, which assesses a person’s subjective experience of being a parent during their first 16 years.
It assesses two so-called ‘parental bonding behaviours’: parental care, eg my father ‘was affectionate with me’; and parental overprotection, for example, my father ‘tried to control everything he did’.
The researchers found that socially prescribed perfectionism in women was predicted only by high paternal overprotection and low paternal care, but not by maternal overprotection or care (file image)
Participants completed two versions of the questionnaire: one for their mother and one for their father.
Looking at the results together, the researchers found that PPS in women was uniquely predicted by high paternal overprotection and low paternal care, but not by maternal overprotection or care.
And SPP in men was uniquely predicted by high maternal overprotection and low maternal care.
Ms Ge, a postgraduate student in clinical psychology, said the reasons behind the results were unknown, but for women, it could be because they didn’t feel able to be as open with their parents when they were growing up. .
She added: “Some research suggests that, in general, daughters feel more emotionally distant from their parents and have a harder time talking to them, which can create what we call ‘parent-child asynchrony,’ where the underlying needs of a child, like security and warmth, are not met – which can lead to his development of PPS.
‘However, more research is needed on this.
“Regarding the findings on mothers and children, one study suggests that, compared to fathers, mothers may be more involved in their children’s lives, which could thwart their development of autonomy.
“This can lead to children being overly reliant on external validation and self-esteem approval from others, which is seen in SPP.”
The findings are published in Personality and Individual Differences, an Elsevier journal.
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NOT CHASING A LOVED ONE AND NOT TRAVELING THE WORLD AMONG ‘THE GREATEST REGRETS’
Through six studies, two researchers, Dr. Shai Davidai of the New School for Social Research and Professor Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University, examined the idea that our deepest regrets come from not pursuing our wildest dreams.
They discovered that these deep-seated regrets come from things like not pursuing a loved one, giving up hope of playing a musical instrument, and not traveling the world.
These relate to what is called a person’s ‘ideal self’: the image each person has in their head of who they are and the kind of person they want to be.
Other examples of anonymous volunteers, whose ages are in parentheses, included:
• ‘Is old [my shares in] Netflix and Facebook before the great race after 2011’ (29 years)
• ‘About ten years ago I started a great diet and lost 53 pounds. I kept the weight off for years. I thought I would never gain the weight back and I would totally regret all the eating mistakes I have made’ (43 years old)
• ‘My first year of university offered me an incredible opportunity to do my own research in two different countries. I didn’t go because my family didn’t want me to go and I had economic concerns to do with my apartment, financing it and my pet’ (22 years old)
• ‘My biggest regret was not going to graduate school when I had the chance. I’ve found success elsewhere and raised my family the way I wanted, but I’ve always regretted not going’ (54 years old)
• ‘My biggest regret in life was not pursuing my dream of singing. Instead, I followed a traditional route and became a teacher. The dream remains… what if!’ (62 years)
• ‘I regret not having more fun in high school’ (18 years old)
• ‘I regret not getting involved in anything extracurricular during my high school years. I was in the national honor society but that hardly counts (33 years old)
• ‘I’m sorry I didn’t keep in touch with my best friend in college. It hurts that we lost contact’ (26 years)
• ‘I didn’t pursue a career in acting when I was younger. I feel like I gave up my dream because of the doubts others had. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to believe in my talent more’ (35 years old)
• ‘Letting go of a girl who was an amazing match for me in almost every way imaginable because I was in a relationship with someone I knew wasn’t right for me’ (30 years old)
• ‘The biggest regret was remarrying and leaving a job, a house and a state with which I was happy. I made a terrible mistake and gave up a lot to ease the loneliness I felt. What a fool I was’ (71 years)
• ‘Many years ago, when my husband and I got married, we almost bought our dream home. It wasn’t ideal but we loved it. We decided not to buy it because we felt pressure from our parents. I regret not stepping up, being an adult, and following my gut. I’m sorry to let our parents influence us so much. I also regret it because it has been a great investment’ (46 years)