Researchers from the UK and the US have found that students experience increased pressure from their parents’ expectations, and that increased pressure can lead to perfectionism. It worries them.
Forskning.no have reviewed the study, which was published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.
Researchers Thomas Curran and Andrew P. Hill have compiled figures from more than 20,000 students in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. You can read full report here.
The findings show that pressure on getting pregnant from parents has increased 40 percent since 1989.
The two researchers had previously published a study showing that perfectionism is a growing phenomenon in the same country. Now they believe that there may be a connection between the two findings.
In a pers conference explains one of the researchers behind the study that increased parental care can be perceived as pressure to be perfect, and that it can be a risk factor for students’ mental health. They attribute perfectionism primarily to depression, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders.
– Expectations from parents can be expensive if considered excessive. Young people embrace these expectations and associate them with their own self-esteem. When they fail to live up to expectations, which they will, they become self-critical. To compensate, they strive to be perfect, the researchers say.
Not the parent’s responsibility
The responsibility for the increased pressure does not lie with the parents, the researchers believe. Instead, they point to the development of society in the West, and the demands for education, pressure from social media and a society wanting more, shaping parental expectations, writes forskning.no.
The self-reported increase in expectation pressure is surprising, the researchers believe.
– The pressure to adhere to perfect ideals has never been greater, and could be the basis for imminent public health problems, they wrote in a press release.
They emphasize that findings are not necessarily transferable to cultures other than those they have studied.
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