Overbearing parents foster obsessive passion among kids

September 19th, 2008 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Sep 19 (IANS) The extent of parental control could determine whether a child will develop a harmonious or an obsessive passion for its favourite hobby, says a study. The study, by Geneviève Mageau of Montréal University’s department of psychology, analysed 588 musicians and athletes aged between six and 38 years who practiced their hobby at beginner, intermediate and expert levels.

Adults often admit exercising abusive authority over their children and sometimes force their offspring to pursue an activity against their will, said Mageau.

“The child learns that by obeying the parents they will be loved. The risk is that as adults they continue to pursue the activity to maintain their self-esteem,” she said.

Mageau evaluated the psychological well-being of the child regarding their hobby, which in this case was piano, saxophone, skiing or swimming, reports Eurekalert.

“The more controlling parents are, the harder it is for the child to have a harmonious passion for their favourite activity,” said Mageau.

Her concept of supporting autonomy means allowing a child to face up to his or her responsibilities, while considering the child’s point of view and providing answers to their questions without being authoritative.

The study is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Personality.

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