For the first time, we investigate associations between overprotective behavior within the context of adolescent friendships and psychosocial outcomes. Young adolescents participating in two studies (Ns = 270 and 179; 49% boys) completed self-report measures of psychological functioning, social problems (also assessed with peer nominations), and friendship quality. To assess friend overprotection, curvilinear effects of self-reported friend protection were examined in Study 1, and a self-report measure of parental overprotection was adapted to describe friend overprotection in Study 2. Gender and shyness (Study 2 only) were considered as moderators of associations between friend (over)protection and outcomes. Results from regression analyses revealed significant associations between extreme levels of friend protection/overprotection and indices of psychological and social maladjustment, with some associations specific to highly shy adolescents. These studies together represent a first step toward understanding a previously unexplored feature of adolescent friendships that may have important implications for psychological well-being and social adjustment.
Etkin, Rebecca G. and Bowker, Julie C.
"Overprotection in Adolescent Friendships,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 64
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol64/iss3/3