A team of international researchers, published in the journal Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, investigated the impact of harsh parenting styles – including verbal aggression, psychological abuse, and physical punishment – on children’s tendency to ruminate and its relationship to cultural norms.
In the study, data was collected from 567 mothers, 482 fathers, and 566 children from three diverse countries – Colombia, Italy, and the United States – at three different ages (10, 12, and 13 years old). The parents were asked about their parenting methods and cultural norms, while the children were evaluated for symptoms of rumination, anxiety, and depression.
The findings showed that girls are more affected by harsh parenting, particularly if it’s coming from their mothers. The stricter the mother, the higher the level of rumination in daughters and the stronger their symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, this negative impact was not seen in sons and strictness from fathers was not harmful to children of either gender.
On the other hand, if strict parenting is a cultural norm, it does not lead to significant psychological issues in children.
In conclusion, the results of the study emphasize the critical role of the mother-daughter relationship in adolescent girls’ development of anxiety and depression.