Annotated Bibliography: Overindulgence and Related Literature

By David J. Bredehoft, Ph.D., CFLE

This annotated bibliography was produced by searching the following online databases (Psychology Journals, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Social Sciences, Criminal Justice, Dissertation Abstracts, Expanded Academic ASAP, ERIC, and  Academic Search Premier). It covers the years from the beginning year of each online database through April 2007.

The key words used in this search include: overindulgent, overindulge, overindulgence, indulge, indulgence, pampering, self-indulgent, self-indulgence, self-gratification, spoil, spoiled, spoiling, overprotective, over-involvement, overprotection, narcissism, narcissistic, favoritism, materialism, material rewards, materialistic, misbehaving, permissive parenting, and children.

Thanks to the Overindulgence Project Research Assistants who conducted the search and wrote the annotations: Heather Dyslin, Jennifer van Pelt, Melissa Leach, and Chelsae Armao.

The following key words were all searched in combination with the terms "children" and "parenting." This bibliography is organized by key word.

Affluent Youth, Affluence

Luthar, S. S. (2003). The culture of affluence: Psychological costs of material wealth [Electronic version]. Child Development, 74(6), 1581-1593.

This article highlights various adjustment disturbances that can be prominent among children in wealthy families; it also reviews the potential causes of these disturbances. Compared to children in families with lower socioeconomic status affluent youth use more substance more frequently, and have higher levels of anxiety and depression. Possible causes mentioned are excessive pressure to achieve and literal and emotional isolation from parents.

Luthar, S. S., & Latendresse, S. J. (2005). Children of the affluent: Challenges to well-being [Electronic version]. Current Direction in Psychological Science, 14(1), 49-53.

Affluent youth were compared to non-affluent youth in terms of well being.  The affluent youth reported significantly higher use of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and hard drugs.  Higher anxiety and somewhat higher levels of depression were also reported among the affluent youth.  Substance use in the affluent youth was often linked to depression and anxiety; for boys higher use was associated with popularity.

Schonfeld, W. A. (1967). Socioeconomic affluence as a factor. New York State Journal of Medicine,67(14), 1981-1990.

Examined socioeconomic affluence and its preparatory and determining role in how youth cope with their adolescent crises.  States that delinquency is often unconsciously sanctions by parents who overindulge their children.


Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1996). Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals [Electronic version]. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22(3), 282-287.

Researchers were interested is seeing if the content of goals and values (extrinsic vs. intrinsic) differentially associated with the well-being of the individuals who hold them. Results indicate the relative centrality to extrinsic goals was negatively related to well-being and positively related to distress and the opposite patterns were shown for intrinsic goals.

Kim, Y., Kasser, T., & Lee, H. (2003). Self-concept, aspirations, and well-being in South Korea and the United States [Electronic version]. The Journal of Social Psychology, 143(3), 277-290.

Individualism vs. collectivism, independent vs. interdependent self-concept, and intrinsic vs. extrinsic aspirations were explored in South Korea and the United States. Independent self-concept was more likely to create strong values on intrinsically oriented goals rather than extrinsically oriented goals. Interdependent self-concept seemed to lead people to value more socially oriented values rather than personality oriented values.

Delay of Gratification

Funder, D. C., & Block, J. (1989). The role of ego-control, ego-resiliency, and IQ in delay of gratification in adolescence. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 57(6), 1041-1050.

An assessment of delay of gratification behavior in fourteen year olds.  Delaying of gratification was found to be strongly correlated with personality ratings.  

Houck, G. M., & Lecuyer-Maus, E. A. (2004). Maternal limit setting during toddlerhood, delay of gratification and behavior problems at age five [Electronic version]. Infant Mental Health Journal, 25(1), 28-46.

This study aimed to understand how limit setting interactions in toddlerhood promote or undermined the development of later self-regulation and behavioral adjustment. Children demonstrated a very limited ability for self-regulation (delay of gratification) without maternal supervision. The use of a teaching based limit-setting style appeared to have relative advantages when used during toddlerhood.

LeCuyer, E., & Houck, G. M. (2006). Maternal limit-setting in toddlerhood: Socialization strategies for the development of self-regulation. Infant Mental Health Journal, 27(4), 344-370.

The use of limit-setting and how this affects a toddler’s self-concept, self competence, and delay of gratification was shown. Mothers who actively distracted the toddler resulted in greater ability for delay of gratification later in the toddler’s life. The mothers who showed interest in the toddler’s activities while being sensitive and using reasoning resulted in higher self-competence and social competence.


Bieber, I. (1977). Pathogenicity of parental preference. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 5(3), 291-298.

A discussion of the two types of grandiosity occurring in children as a result of parental favoritism.  Article also describes this act of parents as a transference reaction to significant persons in the family of origin. 

Kiracofe, N. M. (1992). Child-perceived parental favoritism and self-reported personal characteristics [Electronic version]. Individual Psychology, 48(3), 349-356.

This study examines clients in an Adlerian counseling setting for a relationship between perceptions of parental favoritism and client ratings of sibling childhood traits. Clients thought parents had favorites among the siblings which lends to the concern about the potentially detrimental effects of perceived favoritism in the family and the potential for discouragement that can result among the less favored siblings.


Bettelheim, Bruno. (1987). A good enough parent: A book on child-rearing. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 

Author stresses that parents should not indulge the impulse to create the child they would like to have, but to facilitate the child to develop into the person he or she wishes to become.  Additionally, parents are encouraged to develop their own insights into child-rearing and learn to comprehend the behavior of children.


Bharadwaj, R. (1995). Developing of parenting scale. Indian Journal of Psychometry & Education, 26(2), 109-112.

Reports on the development of a scale to measure the perceptions of the child to either the mother the father or both parents. Areas covered include: rejection vs. acceptance, neglect vs. indulgence, and freedom vs. discipline.

Boshier, R. & Izard, A. (1972). Do conservative parents use harsh child-rearing practices? Psychological Reports, 31(3), 734.

Reports on the testing of the question of whether or not conservative parents use harsh child-rearing practices.  Significant correlations were found between conservatism, rejection, indulgence, and domination in New Zealand mothers. 

Chen, X., Liu, M., & Li, D. (2000). Parental warmth, control, and indulgence and their relations to adjustment in Chinese children: A longitudinal study. Journal of Family Psychology, 14(3), 401-419.

A two year longitudinal study with children at age twelve in the People’s Republic of China.  The children’s self reports provided data on parental warmth, control, and indulgence with results indicating that parenting styles might be a function of child gender and change with age.

Coccia, C., & Darling, C. A. (2015). Indulgent parenting and life satisfaction of college students: Examination of eating, weight, and body image. Journal of Family Issues. DOI: 10.1177/0192513X15580165.  A cross-sectional design based on social cognitive theory was used to examine the association between mother and daughter perceptions of parental indulgence and family health discussions as they influenced eating motivations, health outcomes, and life satisfaction of college females. Results indicated that daughters perceived greater overall indulgence and overnurturance than mothers. Indulgence had both positive and negative associations with daughters’ life satisfaction. Daughters’ perceptions of parental overnurturance and giving too much had the greatest total effects on life satisfaction. Even as daughters began to transition away from their parents, mothers still played an integral role in their health behaviors and outcomes. Additional research was recommended, along with practice recommendations for family and health professionals.

Indulgent Parenting and Life Satisfaction of College Students: Examination of Eating, Weight, and Body Image - ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed May 21, 2015].

Fodor, E. M. (1971). Resistance to social influence among adolescents as a function of level of moral development. Journal of Social Psychology, 85(1), 121-126.

An assessment of adolescent boys, their level of moral development, and their perception of their mothers.  Those who scored higher on moral judgment perceived their mothers as having given them greater autonomy in their personal lives.  However, no differences between groups in maternal indulgence were found. 

Gaden, C. L. (1996). The meaning and value of grandparenting in later life. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 56, 12-B, p. 7062.

Study focused on the relationship between grandparents perceived meaning of grandparenting and his or her psychological well-being.  Five aspects of grandparenting including centrality and indulgence are measured through a questionnaire. 

Growe, G. A. (1980). Parental behavior and self-esteem in children. Psychological Reports, 47(2), 499-502.

Fifth and sixth graders were administered the Self-Esteem Inventory and the Cornell Parent Behavior Description.  Correlations between self-esteem and dimensions of parental behavior including, rejection, indulgence, and autonomy indicated that parental behavior was more highly related to boy’s than girls self-esteem.

Sivulich, Stephen. (1975). Who is to blame for deviant college behavior? College Student Journal, 9(2), 157-161.

Article examines the problem of deviant behavior of college students.  Asserts that causes of deviant student behavior is complex and includes parental indulgence and overprotection, peer pressure, and failure by the college administration to proved adequate counseling and advice.

Kivnick, H. Q. (1983). Dimensions of grandparenthood meaning: Deductive conceptualization and empirical derivation. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 44(5), 1056-1068.

A discussion of the development of a multidimensional conceptualization of the meaning of grandparenting.  Five dimensions of grandparenthood meaning are assess and includes, indulgence and attitudes of lenience toward grandchildren.

Kivetz, R., & Zheng, Y. (2006). Determinants of justification and self-control. Journal of  Experimental Psychology, 135(4), 572-587.

This study measured vice verses virtue and the relationship between high effort, low effort, or money and the choice to choose between a vice or virtue. The higher the effort the person put forth, more likely he or she would choose a vice reward. When effort was put forth, it was easier to justify vices, whereas money made it harder to justify vices. This further illustrated that indulging is justified easier if the person sees it as a rare event.

Lau, S., Lew, W. J., Hau, K., Cheung, P. C. et al. (1990). Relations among perceived parental control, warmth, indulgence, and family harmony of Chinese in mainland China. Developmental Psychology, 26(4), 674-677.

An examination of adult perceptions of parental control, warmth, indulgence and family harmony among educated Chinese in mainland China.  Results indicate that less perceived parental control and greater parental warmth were related to greater perceived family harmony.

Laughlin, Charles D. (1989). Pre- and perinatal anthropology: A selective review. Pre- & Peri-Natal Psychology Journal, 3(4), 261-296.

A review of the cross cultural literature of methodological biases of anthropology in pre- and preinatal psychology.  Topics discussed are the importance of caretakers other than the mother, importance of birth order, infant indulgence, language, and communication.

Munroe, R. H., & Munroe, R. L. (1980). Infant experience and childhood affect among the Logoli: A longitudinal study. Ethos, 8(4), 295-315.

An investigation of infant care and the relation to later affective development in Logoli of Western Kenya.  Variants of indulgence such as, mother-holding, number of caretakers, and degree of protection from environmental discomfort correlated strongly with positive affective responses in childhood. 

Nissen, G. (1974). Play disturbances at pre-school age as precursors to learning difficulties of children and adolescents. Acta Paedopsychiatrica: International Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(6), 214-220.

Examines play disturbances in childhood.  Shows that play disturbances in the 50 children studied are influenced by early emotional frustration, professional employment of both parents, and extreme indulgence.

Orgel, S. Z. (1968). Delinquency. Samiksa, 22(3), 81-86.

An examination of two types of delinquents including those who are receiving too little love and an excess of indulgence and those with normal conflicts in their childhood development of emotional attachment.

Paitich, D., &  Langevin, R. (1976). The Clarke Parent-Child Relations Questionnaire: A clinically useful test for adults. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 44(3), 428-436.

Report of the use of the Clarke Parent-Child Relations Questionnaire in two different studies.  Using factor analysis one study showed the factors contrasted aggressiveness and strictness at one pole with affection and indulgence at the other.

Ritchie, J., & Ritchie, J. (1983). Polynesian child rearing: An alternative model. Alternative Lifestyles, 5(3), 126-141.

Literature review on childrearing practices and family style in Polynesia.  Five themes of Polynesian cultures are identified: community responsibility for the care of children, multiple parenting, early indulgence, early independence, and caretaking by sibling and peers.

Rodgers, R. R. (1971). Changes in parental behavior reported by children in West Germany and the United States. Human Development, 14(3), 208-224.

Investigated changes in the family as a social system using the Cornell Parent Behavior Description questionnaire with sixth graders from Germany and America.  The prediction was that there would be a trend of decreases in “traditional” behaviors of nurturance, physical punishment, and prescription of responsibilities and an increase in “modern” behaviors such as achievement demands, instrumental companionship, and indulgence.  The hypothesis was partially supported.

Sollenberger, R. T. (1968). Chinese-American child rearing practices and juvenile delinquency. Journal of Social Psychology, 74(1), 13-23.

An exploration of the low delinquency rate in Chinatown, New York City.  Intensive interviews of Chinese-American mothers on child rearing along with personal observations are conducted.  One conclusion is that the integrated family and indulgence of the child for the first six years keeps the child’s frustration to a minimum.

Tang, N. M. (1992). Some psychoanalytic implications of Chinese philosophy and child-rearing practices. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 47, 371-389.

An examination of Chinese philosophy regarding beliefs about the nature of humanity, the ideal person, and general world view.  Chinese child rearing practices mentioned include the indulgence of the child, high expectations early on, and instilment of duty to the family.

Turner, P. H. & Harris, M. B.(1984). Parental attitudes and preschool children's social competence. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 144(1), 105-113.

Examination of the association between parental attitudes toward childrearing and preschool children’s social competence.  Finding indicate that parental indulgence and protectiveness were associated with higher scores on child’s self concept, vocabulary, and empathy.  However, not all correlations were found to be significant.

Weisner, T. S., & Gallimore, R. (1977). My brother's keeper: Child and sibling caretaking. Current Anthropology, 18(2, 169-190.

A cross cultural review of children acting as caretakers for other children.  These instances vary in frequency, relationship to parental caretaking, and degree of indulgence.

Woodward, L., Dowdney, L., & Taylor, E. (1997). Child and family factors influencing the clinical referral of children with hyperactivity: A research note. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 38(4) 479-485.

Examined child and family factors associated with clinical referral of hyperactive children.  Results indicate that predictors of determining whether a child with hyperactivity will be referred to a clinic includes: parents ability to cope, child emotional disturbance, and parental disciplinary indulgence.


Bala, P., &  Upadhaya, K. (1992). Child rearing attitudes of employed and unemployed mothers. Journal of Personality & Clinical Studies, 8(1-2), 157-160.

A test of whether employed and unemployed mothers would differ significantly in their childrearing attitudes.  No difference was found between the two groups on rejecting and indulgent attitudes.

Baldwin, A. L. (1946). Differences in parent behavior toward three- and nine-year-old children. Journal of Personality. 15, 143-165.

Parents of three year olds and parents of nine years olds were rated using the Parent Behavior Rating Scales.  Results indicate that parents of nine year olds tend to be less warm, intellectually stimulating, and less indulgent

Bulkley, J. (2001).  Culture's influence on parents and children: The role of ethnicity in parenting and child competence in African-American and European-American families. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 61, 9-B, p. 5025.

An examination of the role of ethnicity in parenting and child adjustment with a sample of socially and academically successful middle-class European-American and African-American adolescents and their parents. Little evidence was found to support differences between parenting styles (indulgent, uninvolved, authoritative, and authoritarian).

Cohen, E., & Lwow, E. (2004). The parent-child mutual recognition model: Promoting responsibility and cooperativeness in disturbed adolescents who resist treatment [Electronic version]. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 14(3), 307-322.

In a sub-group of families with troubled and resistant youth it appeared family interaction involved anxious parenting practices expressed by indulgent, overprotective, or overcontrolling acts.  The adolescents often reacted inappropriately to this which increased parental anxiety which further increased the indulgent, overprotective, or overcontrolling behavior thus creating a cycle within the family.

Constantin, L. P. (1996).  Family ritual behavior examined in the context of parenting styles and the prediction of adolescent psychosocial adjustment. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 57, 1-B, p. 0720.

An investigation of family rituals and parenting styles in order to help determine if family rituals are the process though which families functions adapt or if they are an indicator of healthy family functioning.  Authoritative families were found to have rituals that were more meaningful than those of indulgent families. 

Durbin, D. L., Darling, N., Steinberg, L., & Brown, B. B. (1993). Parenting style and peer group membership among European-American adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 3(1),87-100.

An examination of adolescents peer group orientation and parenting style.  Boys who characterized their parents as indulgent were more likely to be oriented towards crowds that were characterized by fun-culture or the “partyers”.

Dusek, J. B,. & Danko, M. (1994). Adolescent coping styles and perceptions of parental child rearing. Journal of Adolescent Research, 9(4), 412-426.

An investigation of adolescent coping styles to parental rearing practices.  Adolescents were classified into authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, or neglectful groups based on their perceptions of their parents’ rearing practices.  The children were compared from each group on their coping style.   

Feinman, J. (2001). Church attendance, family structure, parenting style and antisocial behavior of Black and Latino urban adolescents. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 62, 3-B, p. 1615.

Reports on a longitudinal study of the effects of church attendance and family structure on the relationship between parenting style and antisocial behavior in Black and Latino urban adolescents.  For boys, indulgent parenting increased risk for anti-social behavior. 

Feldman, S. S., & Brown, N. L. (1993). Family influences on adolescent male sexuality: The mediational role of self-restraint. Social Development, 2(1), 15-35.

An examination of self-restraint in sexual behavior and family relationships in boys studied in sixth grade and again in tenth grade.  Indulgent parenting was associated with sexual activity.

Fletcher, A. C., Steinberg, L., &  Sellers, E. B. (1999). Adolescents' well-being as a function of perceived interparental consistency. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 61(3), 599-610.

An examination of high school students’ perception of parental responsiveness and demandingness and their academic achievement and engagement in problem behavior.  Parents were classified as authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, or indifferent.  Adolescents were compared from homes of each parenting style

Forrisi, M. (1996).  Adolescent abuse: An exploration of the effects of time of onset and parental disciplinary styles. Dissertation Abstracts International,  Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 56,12-B, p. 7044.

An examination of the relationship between age of onset for abuse and parental disciplinary styles.  It was hypothesized that a higher percent of childhood onset abuse would occur in more authoritarian families and adolescent onset of abuse would occur in more indulgent families.  The hypothesis was not supported. 

Glynn, T. J., Haenlein, M. (1988). Family theory and research on adolescent drug use: A review. Journal of Chemical Dependency Treatment, 1(2), 39-56.

A literature review on families with a drug abusing member.  Consistent patterns identified in these families include a dominant mother who is overindulgent and overprotective.

Gordon, L. C. (2000). Linking gender differences in parenting to a typology of family parenting styles and adolescent developmental outcomes. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, Humanities & Social Sciences, 60, 11-A,  p. 4196.

Examines various research questions regarding gender, parenting typology, and parenting styles.  Data from the sample of families suggest that an indulgent style of parenting is very common.

Lamborn, S. D., Mounts, N. S., Steinberg, L., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1991). Patterns of competence and adjustment among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful families. Child Development, 62(5), 1049-1065.

A test of a revision of D. Baumrind’s conceptual framework by classifying families into authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent or neglectful categories and  comparing the adolescents’ self-conceptions and psychological well-being.  Support was found for the revision.

Romero, G. M. (1995). Mothers' cognitions, affect, and behavioral strategies in specific parenting situations. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 56, 5-B, p. 2883.

An exploration of the relationship among situation-specific cognitions, affect, and behavioral strategies of mothers in two compliance situations with their children.  An analysis was conducted with behavioral strategies (indulgent, cooperative, coercive), type of event, and mothers’ cognitions.

Stewart, R. S. (1950). Personality maladjustment and reading achievement. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 20, 410-417.

Children of markedly dissimilar reading achievement were examined and many more of those with inferior reading skills had parents who were more indulgent and overprotective.

Tavoulareas-Karahalios, Mary. The relationship among parenting styles, level of maternal depressive symptomotology and adjustment of preadolescent boys. (2000).  Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 60(12-B), p. 6386.

An investigation of approaches to parenting for child psychological adjustment with the presence of maternal depression.  Boys of depressed-authoritative mothers demonstrated fewer socializing problems than boys of depressed-indulgent and depressed-neglectful mothers combined.

Wallis, D. A. (1999). Reactive parenting: A study of the cognitive and emotional antecedents of parenting behaviors. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 60(1-B), p. 0393.

An investigation of Reactive Parenting in a population of parent of children six to twelve.  Parents determined to be Reactive Parents reported being less disciplinarily and more indulgent with there children than their parents.

Watson, G. (1957). Some personality differences in children related to strict or permissive parental discipline. Journal of Psychology, 44, 227-249.

An investigation of differences in self-control, inner security, happiness, socialization and cooperation in children from indulgent families and children from strict families.  Significant differences were found for some characteristics.

Willerman, L. & Plomin, R. (1973). Activity level in children and their parents. Child Development, 44(4), 854-858.

Questionnaires concerning activity-level and child-rearing were administered to mothers and fathers of nursery school children.  Mothers and fathers of active boys were found to be less protective and indulgent.

Wyatt, F. (1969). Motives of rebellion: Psychological comments on the crisis of authority among students. Humanitas, 4(3), 355-373.

Article asserts that young people at universities who rebel are motivated to do so by the need to affirm their autonomy and individual significance.  Article also discusses the relation of indulgent parents and these cases.

Zern, D. (1970). The influence of certain child-rearing factors upon the development of a structured and salient sense of time. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 8(2), 197-254.

A report on a cross-cultural and longitudinal study of individuals that tested the hypothesis that indulgent child-rearing patterns lead to the development of undifferentiated send of time and indifference to structuring the time dimension.  The hypothesis was confirmed in two investigations.

Materialism, Materialistic, Material Rewards

Achenreiner, G. B. (1997). Materialistic values and susceptibility to influence in children. Advances in Consumer Research, 24, 82-88.

The purpose of this study was to: (1) examine the materialistic attitudes of children across a wide age span using a large sample and a multi-item materialism scale and (2) to examine the relationship between materialistic attitudes in children and susceptibility to peer group influence. Results appear to indicate materialism is a fairly stable trait over time and there was a positive correlation between materialism and susceptibility to peer influence.

Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P.M. (2003). The effects of television advertising on materialism, parent-child conflict, and unhappiness: A review of research. Applied Developmental Psychology, 24, 437-456.

This review of previous research focuses on three possible harmful effects of television advertising: materialism, parent-child conflict, and unhappiness. A positive correlation was found between television advertising and materialism; a positive but small to moderate, correlation was found with television advertising and parent-child conflict; and research on television advertising and happiness is not developed enough to make any causal statements.

Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2003). The unintended effects of television advertising: A parent-child survey. Communication Research, 30(5), 483-503.

This study aimed to revitalize research on the unintended effects of advertising and to re-investigate whether and how television advertising is related to materialism, parent-child conflict, and unhappiness. Results indicate children who frequently watched television commercials held stronger materialistic values. Advertising exposure lead to increased purchase requests from children which lead to increased parent-child conflict. Results did not find any direct relationship between advertising and disappointment or dissatisfaction with life.

Burroughs, J. E., & Rindfleisch, A. (1997). Materialism as a coping mechanism: An inquiry into family disruption [Electronic version]. Advances in Consumer Research, 24, 89-97.

The authors propose that children and young adults develop an enhanced level of materialism as a way of coping with family disruption.  Two studies were performed that indicated materialism may act as a moderator of the relationship between family structure and family stress. Material values positively related to family stress for children from intact families and negatively related to family stress among children of divorced or separated parents.

Burroughs, J. E., & Rindfleisch, A. (2002). Materialism and well-being: A conflicting values perspective [Electronic version]. Journal of Consumer Research, 29(3), 348-370.

Materialism’s detrimental effects are suggested to be conditional on one’s overall value system. Research results indicate materialism is negatively associated with collective-oriented values, associated with increased conflict and stress among individuals with high collective-oriented values and the tension mediates the relationship between materialism and subjective well-being for individuals with high collective-oriented values.

Chaplin, L. N., & John, D. R. (2005). Materialism in children and adolescents: The role of the developing self-concept [Electronic version]. Advances in Consumer Research, 32, 219-220.

This article is an extended abstract about a study that addressed the gap in understanding how materialism develops in children and adolescents. Materialism was found to be heightened in the middle age group studied (i.e., 7th/8th graders) and levels of materialism significantly decrease during late adolescence rather than staying constant through adolescence.  Results also suggest that self-esteem is intricately tide to a child’s level of materialism.

Clark, P. W., Martin, C. A., & Bush, A. J. (2001). The effect of role model influence on adolescents’ materialism and marketplace knowledge [Electronic version]. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 9(4), 27-36.

This research utilizes social learning as a conceptual guide to understanding how role models influence marketing related attitudes and knowledge of adolescents. Results show that each direct role model (i.e., parent, teacher) has a significant influence either on an adolescent’s marketplace knowledge or materialism.  There was a significant positive correlation between athlete role model influence and adolescent materialism but no significant influence was found for entertainers on adolescent materialism.

Comer, J. P. (1971). Child development and social change: Some points of controversy. Journal of Negro Education, 40(3), 266-276.

Article asserts that the average developmental experiences in America do not contribute heavily to the causes of serious social problems and that the reduction of classism and materialism rests more on political action than on changing child development approaches.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). If we are so rich, why aren’t we happy? [Electronic version].  American Psychologist, 54(10), 821-827.

It is commonly thought that more money equals happiness. The author shows that this is not the case for several reasons: (1) people will always want more; (2) people feel poor in comparison to those above them; (3) material awards alone will not equal happiness; and (4) initially material rewards may enhance the quality of life but become harmful in large doses. The author offers alternative suggestions to finding happiness.

Dittmar, H. (2005). Compulsive buying – a growing concern? An examination of gender, age, and endorsement of materialistic values as predictors [Electronic version]. British Journal of Psychology, 96, 467-491.

Materialistic value endorsement, age, and gender were examined through two studies as possible factors that make individuals more vulnerable to compulsive buying.  Variables measured included aspects of compulsive buying and materialistic values. Results indicate women and younger consumers are more affected; materialistic value endorsement was also found to be the strongest predictor of compulsive buying.

Flouri, E. (1999). An integrated model of consumer materialism: Can economic socialization and maternal values predict materialistic attitudes in adolescents? Journal of Socio-Economics, 28(6), 707-724.

Examines a model of development of materialism within the context of family socialization and the impact of parental values and styles.  Materialism was not found to differ significantly according to family structure.

Flouri, E. (1999). An integrated model of consumer materialism: Can economic socialization and maternal values predict materialistic attitudes in adolescents? [Electronic version]. Journal of Socio-Economics, 28, 707-724.

The purpose of this study was to propose an integrated model of the development of materialism in the specific context of family socialization and impact of parental values and parental styles.  Materialism in adolescents was predicted from their mothers’ materialism and adolescents’ religiosity, neuroticism, and susceptibility to peer influence.

Flouri, E. (2004). Exploring the relationship between mothers’ and fathers’ parenting practices and children’s materialist values [Electronic version]. Journal of Economic Psychology, 25, 743-752.

This research explored the relationship between parenting practices and children’s materialist values. Results indicate children’ perception of inter-parental conflict positively related to children’s materialism; children’s assessed mother involvement was negatively related to children’s materialism; and psychological maladjustment and goal-directedness was positively related to adolescent materialism.  Overall parenting was shown to be significantly related to materialism in children.

Goldberg, M. E., Gorn, G. J., Peracchio, L. A., & Bamossy, G. (2003). Understanding materialism among youth [Electronic version].  Journal of Consumer Psychology, 13(3), 278-288.

This paper describes the development of the Youth Materialism Scale. This scale tries to better understand youths’ orientation toward purchasing, responses to marketing initiatives, interplay in the marketplace between youth and their parents, and broader issues such as general happiness and liking for school. Youth ages 9-14 were the focus of this study. The results of this research support the notion that parents transmit values onto children; no relationship was found between materialism and happiness.

Grunberg, N. E., Maycock, V. A., & Anthony, B. J. (1985). Material altruism in children [Electronic version]. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 6(1), 1-11.

Two field studies were performed to assess the material altruism in children. Study one focused on money and study two focused on another material object (candy). Results indicate children around age 7 are less altruistic than both younger and older children. It was noted that based on the results one cannot generalize about material altruism because the objects used may be special cases.

Kasser, T. , & Ahuvia, A. (2002). Materialistic values and well-being in business students [Electronic version]. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32, 137-146.

Singaporean business students were examined for a relationship between high extrinsic materialist aims and lower subject well being. Results indicate those who strongly internalize materialistic values suffer from lower well-being and greater distress.

Kasser, T., & Kasser, V. G. (2001). The dreams of people high and low in materialism  [Electronic version]. Journal of Economic Psychology, 22, 693-719.

Dreams of people high and low in materialism were investigated for themes of insecurity, poor relationships, and fragile self-esteem. High materialism was linked to dream reports of falling or death and family conflict and role reversal. Low in materialism was linked to similar dreams but individuals often confronted and sometimes conquered their underlying insecurities in these dreams.

Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1993). A dark side of the American dream: Correlates of financial success as a central life aspiration [Electronic version]. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(2), 410-422.

Three studies were done investigating the relationship between well-being and the relative centrality of the four domains of aspiration (self-acceptance, affiliation, community feeling, and financial success). High central financial success aspirations were associated with less self-actualization, less vitality, more depression, and more anxiety.  Less adjustment was consistently found for individuals who held financial success as a more central aspiration than self-acceptance, affiliation, or community feeling.

Kasser, T., Ryan, R. M., Zax, M., & Sameroff, A. J. (1995). The relations of maternal and social environments to late adolescents’ materialistic and prosocial value [Electronic version]. Developmental Psychology, 31(6), 907-914.

This study examines the idea that people who highly value financial success, relative to prosocial values have experienced maternal and social environments that are less supportive of growth, self-expression, and intrinsic needs.  Results indicate materially oriented individuals had mothers who were lower on an index of nurturance, were likely to come from lower socioeconomic circumstances.  Mothers also tended to pass their own materialistic values on to their children.

Keng, K. A., Jung, K., Jiuan, T. S., & Wirtz, J. (2000). The influence of materialistic inclination on values, life satisfaction, and aspirations: An empirical analysis [Electronic version]. Social Indicators Research, 49(3), 317-333.

The authors studied issues confronted by an Asian society including how materialism might influence levels of aspirations and satisfaction with life in general and particularly in Singapore. Individuals low in materialism were more likely to treasure love, security, friendship and peace of mind; individuals high in materialism were more likely to value success, wealth, social status, and power. Results show individuals higher in materialism were significantly less satisfied with life.

Richins, M. L. (2004). The material values scale: Measurement properties and development of a short form [Electronic version]. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(1), 209-219.

The Materialistic Values Scale is evaluated and a short form of the scale is developed using three studies. Study one evaluated the Materialistic Values Scale; study two performed an item analysis and developed a short scale; and study three produced a cross-validation of the Materialistic Values short scales.

Richins, M. L., & Dawson, S. (1992). A consumer values orientation for materialism and its measurement: Scale development and validation [Electronic version]. Journal of Consumer Research, 19(3), 303-316.

The material values scale was developed to measure materialism among individuals rather than as a group. The scale measures acquisition centrality, the role of acquisition in the pursuit of happiness, and the role of possessions in defining success. The scale showed acceptable reliability and preliminary validity tests were successful.

Rindfleisch, A., Burroughs, J. E., & Denton, F. (1997). Family structure, materialism, and compulsive consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 23(4), 312-325.

Examines how alternative family forms influence consumer behavior.  Article asserts that young adults from disrupted families are more materialistic and demonstrate higher levels of compulsive consumption than young adults from intact families.

Rindfleisch, A., & Burroughs, J. E. (1999) Materialism and childhood satisfaction: A social structural analysis [Electronic version]. Advances in Consumer Research, 26, 519-526.

This research explored the moderating impact of family structures on the relationship between materialism and satisfaction with one’s childhood. Results suggest the relationship between materialism and well-being is moderated by an individual’s social structure. Materialism was negatively correlated with father satisfaction in intact families and positively correlated with father satisfaction in disrupted families. Overall results imply that one’s family, religion and culture may influence the impact of materialism on well-being.

Shervington, W. W. (1986). The Black family: Clinical overview. American Journal of Social Psychiatry, 6(1), 6-10.

A presentation of a clinical overview of the black family based on the author’s training and clinical practice.  Includes a description of unique damage to children in black families due to material and emotional indulgence and lack of proper limit setting and discipline.

Troisi, J. D., Christopher, A. N., & Marek, P. (2006). Materialism and money spending disposition as predictors of economic and personality variables. North American Journal of Psychology, 8(3), 421-436.

Study distinguishes between types of materialistic people as well as views on spending money. Results showed that those who wanted to save money and were also highly materialistic were more likely to negatively view debt. Individual differences in materialism and value of money viewpoints were also discussed.

Wong, N., Rindfleisch, A., & Burroughs, J. E. (2003). Do reverse-worded items confound measures in cross-cultural consumer research? The case of the material values scale [Electronic version]. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(1), 72-91.

The material values scale was tested in five cultures to see if it could be applied cross-culturally. The mixed-word format of the scale interferes with the results in cultures other than the United States. By adapting the material values scale statements into nondirectional questions many of the interferences improves.


Mogenson, G. (1989). Act your age: A strategic approach to helping children change. Journal of Strategic & Systemic Therapies, 8(2-3), 52-55.

An outline of an alternative to enabling behaviors that parents indulge when they perceive their child as misbehaving.  An interactional pattern between therapist and child is discussed and applied to four case studies.

Narcissism, Narcissistic

Benatar, M. (1989). "Marrying off" children as a developmental stage. Clinical Social Work Journal, 17(3), 223-231.

A discussion of five issues that may arise as a challenge to parental narcissism with the marriage of their adult children.  Two case studies are presented to illustrate theses issues.

Buchholz, E. S., & Haynes, R. (1983). Sometimes I feel like a motherless child: Role reversal as a form of parental neglect. Dynamic Psychotherapy,1(2), 99-107.

An investigation of the interactions of narcissistic adults with their children and the outcome of the children’s development.  Characteristics of role reversal, in which the child assumes a caretaker role, are identified and discussed.

Charles, M. (2001). Stealing beauty: An exploration of maternal narcissism. Psychoanalytic Review, 88(4), 549-570.

Author uses myth in an effort to understand individuals whose creativity has been “stolen” from them by narcissistic mothers.  The focus in on mother-child dyads in which the child’s gifts are spoiled and become unusable and then on dyads in which the mothers steals the child’s sense of self. 

Golomb, Elan. (1992). Trapped in the mirror: Adult children of narcissists in their struggle for self. New York: William Morrow & Co, Inc.

A book that discusses the narcissistic character disorder, how to recognize it in other people and explores the struggles of adults raised by narcissistic parents.

Kernberg, P. F. (1989). Narcissistic personality disorder in childhood. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12(3), 671-694.

Discusses the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III criteria for narcissistic personality disorder in adults in order to apply them to children.  Also, states the additional characteristics specific to children.

Loewenstein, Sophie. (1977). An overview of the concept of narcissism. Social Casework, 58(3), 136-142.

Explores the different views on the meanings of narcissism.  Asserts that children who are narcissistically exploited by parents have difficulty acquiring basic healthy self-esteem and may suffer long dissatisfaction with themselves.

Lyons, C. M. (1999). Etiology and interpersonal correlates of narcissistic personality traits in children. (permissiveness, nurturance social learning theory). Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 59,10-B, p. 5580.

A study that hypothesized that parental nurturance and permissiveness interact with highly nurturing and highly permissive parenting associating with higher levels of child narcissism.  Results revealed differences between permissive and non permissive parents.

Mazlish, B. (1982). American narcissism. Psychohistory Review, 10(3-4), 185-202.

An article that discusses Lasch’s book, The Culture of Narcissism.  Lasch claims that narcissism is the psychological consequence of capitalism in its bureaucratic form.

Miller, A. (1979). The drama of the gifted child and the psycho-analyst's narcissistic disturbance. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 60(1), 47-58.

Article asserts that to develop a true sense of self, children need their mothers’ appropriate emotional responses, mirroring, and respect in the first months of life.  If children do not get the right narcissistic responses they will continue to search fro narcissistic supplies for the rest of their lives.

Michell, G. (1988). The reproduction of narcissism. Women & Therapy, 7(4), 35-52.

Asserts that mainstream thought on the development of narcissism omits the role of the father/husband figure and the context of the mother/parenting experience.  These concepts are discussed in the article. 

Moore, B. E. (1975). Toward a clarification of the concept of narcissism. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 30(24), 3-276.

Presents a review of the psychoanalytic concepts of narcissism and traces the historical development Freud’s view on secondary narcissism.  Includes clinical implications for the development of psychopathology in children of narcissistic parents.

Ramsey, A., Watson, P. J., Biderman, M. D., & Reeves, A. L. (1996). Self-reported narcissism and perceived parental permissiveness and authoritarianism. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 157(2), 227-238.

Reports on the testing of the hypothesis that inadequate parenting promotes the development of pathological narcissism.  Findings indicate that efforts to link narcissism with inadequate parenting may have merit.

Rose, S. (1991). The contribution of Alice Miller to feminist therapy and theory. Women & Therapy, 11(2), 41-53.

Author comments on Miller’s contribution to feminist theory by expanding the definition of child abuse to encompass the traumatic effects of socially sanction forms of parenting.  Asserts that children may suffer emptiness and depression due to their own parents’ narcissistic use of them.

Watson, P. J., Hickman, S. E., Morris, R. J., Milliron, J. T., & Whiting, L. (1995). Narcissism, self-esteem, and parental-nurturance [Electronic version]. The Journal of Psychology, 129(1), 61-73.

This research looked at whether the removal of variance associated with healthy self-esteem would affect the relationships of the three dimensions of narcissism (as outlined in the Narcissistic Personality Inventory) and the relationship with perceptions of parents as nurturing. Results show support for the notion that narcissism falls on a continuum of self-functioning.  Results also show a positive correlation between self-esteem and parental-nurturance.

Overindulged, Overindulging

Erlich, A. (1971). Parent-child Interactions.

An investigation of six major questions about youth including, “do adolescents and their parents perceive youth as overindulged?”  Results of survey indicate that overindulgence ranks low as a complaint about youth. 

kemi, Y., & Ikemi, A. (1982). Some psychosomatic disorders in Japan in a cultural perspective. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 38, 231-238.

Speaks of Japanese society as having a psychodynamic need for mutual dependency and that while overindulging the maternal interdependence may threaten the development of an individual person, deprivation of motherly love may be disastrous.  

Partridge, C. R. (1976). Immature character development: A new look at etiology and remediation of character disorders in children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 5(1), 45-47.

Article claims that emotional development can come to a stop in overindulged and spoiled children.  A treatment approach to these cases is offered.

Segura K.A. (1999). Parenting concerns among women who were raised by a severely mentally ill mother. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences & Engineering, 60(5-B), p. 2391.

Explores how women who were raised by a severely mentally ill mother view their own parenting skills.  Several were concerned that they were overindulging their children and inconsistently disciplining them, which may compromise their children’s independence.


Bakwin, R. M. & Bakwin, H. (1940). Psychologic care of the preschool child.  Journal of Pediatrics, 16, 357-374.

A discussion of the normal attitudes of affection and the abnormal attitudes of overindulgence and overprotection, as well as the behaviors that manifest from these unhealthy attitudes. 

Bredehoft, D., Illsley Clarke, J., Krause, L., McCann, E., Routh, B., Hagen Jokela, R., & Kunkel, K.  (2016). Parenting in an age of overindulgence: The development of an online course. Resource Rountable presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN. November 2, 2016.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2016). A review of the supporting research on childhood overindulgence. Resource Roundtable presented at the 2016 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 2, 2016, Minneapolis Hilton and Towers, Minneapolis, MN.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2014, Summer). Raising children in an age of overindulgence. National Council on Family Relations - Family Focus, p. 5-6, 10.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2013). How much is too much? Technical appendix B.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2013). Empirical connections between parental overindulgence patterns, parenting styles, and parent sense of competence - Executive Summary: Study 9.

Sims, G., & Bredehoft, D. J. (2012). Pathways from childhood overindulgence to helicopter parenting, psychological entitlement and spiritual involvement. Poster presented at the 2012 Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference, April 28, 2012, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2012). The connections between childhood overindulgence and the transition to adulthood. Paper presented at First Fridays to the faculty, staff and student body of Concordia University, St. Paul, MN. February 3, 2012.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2011). Factors connecting childhood overindulgence and adult relationship characteristics: Executive Summary: Study 5.

Bredehoft, D. J., & Slinger, M. R. (2011). Bredehoft – Slinger delayed gratification scale (BSDGS). The scale is available from the lead author;

Bredehoft, D. J., & Slinger, M. R. (2011). Bredehoft-slinger delayed gratification scale (BSDGS) manual. The manual is available from the lead author;

Bredehoft, D. J., Slinger, M. R., & Walcheski, M. J. (2011, Winter). Lack of gratitude, inability to delay gratification, and unhappiness linked to childhood overindulgence. Minnesota Council on Family Relations’ Family Forum, p. 8.

Walcheski, M. J., & Bredehoft, D. J. (2011, Winter). Overindulgence, parenting styles, and parent sense of competence. Minnesota Council on Family Relations’ Family Forum, p. 9-10.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2010). The disconnect between childhood overindulgence and spiritualityPoster presented at the 2010 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 5, 2010, Minneapolis Hilton and Towers, Minneapolis, MN.

Merten, C. (2012). Overindulgent parenting: When too much becomes not enough. A summary paper presented to the faculty of the Adler Graduate School. Retrieved on 12.27.21 from:

Parents love their children and want their children to be happy and healthy. However, oftentimes parents’ efforts to raise happy children results in overindulgence. Research on overindulgent parenting suggests that it has negative implications for child development and psychological wellbeing in adulthood. This paper examines the various ways parents overindulge their children and the residual consequences of overindulgence. Parental motivation for overindulgence is discussed as well as strategies parents can use to avoid overindulgence.

Slinger, M., & Bredehoft, D. J. (2010). Relationships between childhood overindulgence and adult attitudes and behavior. Poster presented at the 2010 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 5, 2010, Minneapolis Hilton and Towers, Minneapolis, MN.

Walcheski, M. J., & Bredehoft, D. J. (2010). Exploring the relationship between overindulgence and parenting styles. Poster presented at the 2010 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 5, 2010, Minneapolis Hilton and Towers, Minneapolis, MN.

Previously, the research literature has examined overindulgence in several primary ways: attitudes and opinions; as one of many depend- ent variables; and the relationship between overindulgence in childhood and its influence in adulthood. Recently, research has attempted to define overindulgence, identify key participants and roles in overindulgence, and the effects of overindulgence in adulthood; young adults and the relationships between childhood overindulgence and family cohesion and adaptability, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and dysfunctional attitudes; parents and the relationships between their childhood overindulgence and family cohesion and adaptability, self-esteem, dysfunctional beliefs and parental locus local of control. 

Bredehoft, D. J. (2009, Winter). New study finds overindulged children grow up to be greedy self-centered adults. Minnesota Council on Family Relations’ Family Forum, p. 11.

Bredehoft, D. J., Slinger, M. R. (2008-2009). The Relationship between childhood overindulgence, materialistic values, gratitude, instant gratification, self-control, and subjective happiness in adulthood: Executive summary - Study 8.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2008). The effects of an effortless childhood: Responding to overindulged children. LEA Shaping the Future. 5(4), 26-29.

Bredehoft, D. J., & Armao, C. K. (2008).What teachers can do when overindulged children come to school. Lutheran Education Journal. 142(1), 25-35.

Bredehoft, D. J., & Armao, C. K. (2008). Study 6: Connections between childhood overindulgence and adult life aspirations - A preliminary report.

Bredehoft, D. J., & Ralston, E. S. (2008). Factors connecting childhood overindulgence and adult life aspirations: Executive Summary - Study 6.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2007). Reliability and validity findings for a measure of childhood overindulgence. Poster presented at the 2007 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 7, 2007, Hilton Hotel, Pittsburg, PA.

This study, the seventh in the overindulgence project, reports the preliminary test-retest reliability and validity findings for OVERINDULGEDoverindulgence a simple measure of childhood . OVERINDULGED is a 14-item instrument designed to measure parental overindulgence from the point of view of the child (of any age). OVERINDULGED uses a weighted scoring system that produces an aggregate score and three subscale scores: (1) Too Much; Ovenurture; and Soft structure. Test-retest reliability for a seventeen day average testing period is reported along with a measure of construct validity comparing OVERINDULGED to the Parental Authority Questionnaire. Implications for parents and family practitioners will be highlighted. 

Walcheski, M. J., & Bredehoft, D. J.  (2007). Practitioner update for practitioners: Overindulgence. Panel presented at the 2007 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 7, 2007, Hilton Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA.

Walcheski, M. J., Bredehoft, D. J., & Leach, M. K. (2007). Overindulgence, parenting styles, and parent sense of competence - Executive Summary: Study 4.

Bredehoft, D. J. (2006). Becoming a parent after growing up overindulged: Executive Summary: Study 3.

This study the relationship between childhood overindulgence parenting attitudes. The sample consisted of 348 parents (89% female, 11% male, ages 25-95). To participate subjects logged onto the study's web page. The study found a significant relationship between childhood overindulgence and the following: family adaptability, self-esteem, dysfunctional attitudes, and parental locus of control. In addition, the study verified the hypothesis that there are three types of overindulgence: material overindulgence, structural overindulgence, and relational overindulgence.

Bredehoft, D. J., & Clarke, J. I.  (2006). Study 5: Answering questions about growing up, overindulged, and adult relationships. Poster presented at the 2006 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 11, 2006, Hyatt Hotel, Minneapolis, MN.

This study, the fifth in the Overindulgence project, focuses on the linkage between childhood overindulged and adult relationships: relationship locus of control, relationship satisfaction, financial management, and conflict resolution styles. In addition to answering questions concerning these four topics, this study explores the “Relationship Triangle” - the tendency for children is to be in an adult overindulgent relationship: (1.) Overindulged during childhood, (2.) Overindulges partner, and (3.) Overindulged by partner. 233 participants from thirty-one states and seven other countries were recruited for this study through

Bredehoft, D. J., & Leach, M. K. (2006). Influence of childhood overindulgence on young adult dispositions: Executive summary: Study 2.

This study explored how childhood overindulgence influences dispositions of young adults. The sample consisted of 74 participants (43 female, 31 male, ages 18-25) from a small private Midwestern university. The study demonstrated a significant relationship between childhood overindulgence and self-efficacy, self-righteousness, and dysfunctional attitudes. No significance was found between self-esteem, satisfactions with life, life distress, and the type of family system the participants were reared in.

Bredehoft, D. J.  (2004). An overview of the overindulgence research literature. Poster presented at the 2004 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 19, 2004, Hyatt Hotel, Orlando, FL.

Clarke, J. I.  (2004). Relationships between childhood overindulgence and parenting attributes: Implications for family life educators. Poster presented at the 2004 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, November 19, 2004, Hyatt Hotel, Orlando, FL.

Bredehoft,  D. J., Clarke, D. J., & Dawson, C. (2003).  Relationships between childhood overindulgence and parenting attributes: Implications for family life educators. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

This study explores the relationship between childhood overindulgence and parenting attributes (family cohesion, family adaptability, self-esteem, dysfunctional attitudes, and parental locus of control). Of the 391 participants 348 identified themselves as parents from 39 states and 12 countries. The parent subsample was predominantly female (89.7% female; 10.3% male) ranging in age from 26 to 95 years. Results indicate that childhood overindulgence is significantly related to dysfunctional thinking and lack of parental locus of control. Overindulgence is a complex construct involving three specific dimensions: material overindulgence (too much), structural overindulgence (soft structure), and relational overindulgence (over-nurture). Implications for parents, parent educators and family life educators will be made.

Bredehoft, D. J., Clarke, J. I., Dawson, C., & Morgart, M.  (2003). The relationship between childhood overindulgence and personality characteristics in college students. Study 2.

Bredehoft, D. J., Clarke, D. J., & Dawson, D. (2002). Relationships between childhood overindulgence and parenting attributes: Implications for family life educators. Paper presented at the 2002 National Council on Family Relations Annual Meeting, November 4, 2002, Hilton Hotel, Houston, TX.

Bredehoft, D. J.,Clarke, J. I., & Dawson, C. (2002). Technical appendix: Methodology and selected results from the overindulgence project.

The overindulgence project began in 1996 with the mission of studying the relationship between childhood overindulgence and subsequent adult problems and parenting practices. To date, we (David Bredehoft, Jean Illsley Clarke, Connie Dawson and our research assistants) have conducted three studies investigating overindulgence involving a combined 1,195 participants (Bredehoft, Mennicke, Potter & Clarke, 1998; Bredehoft, Clarke & Dawson, 2001; Bredehoft, Clarke, Dawson & Morgart, 2003, Bredehoft, Dawson & Clarke, 2003). These studies provide the scientific basis for this book. We are convinced that the results add to the body of knowledge on overindulgence and give us new insights into the parenting problems associated with this issue. The purpose of this technical appendix is to present our methodology and selected results from these three studies:

Study I: “Perceptions Attributed by Adults to Parental Overindulgence During Childhood”;

Study II: “Relationships Between Childhood Overindulgence, Family Cohesion and Adaptability, Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy, Self-Righteousness, Satisfaction with Life, Dysfunctional Attitudes and Life Distress in Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood”; and

Study III: “Relationships Between Childhood Overindulgence, Family Cohesion and Adaptability, Self-Esteem, Dysfunctional Attitudes and Locus of Control in Parents.” 

Bredehoft, D. J., Clarke, J. I., & Dawson, C. (2001, Summer). Dysfunctional beliefs that link with overindulgence. Family Forum, p. 2. 

Bredehoft,  D. J., Clarke, J. I., & Dawson, C. (2001). Overindulgence, personality, family interaction and parental locus of control. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Council on Family Relations, Hopkins, Minnesota.

An examination of the relationship between family of origin dysfunction and adult adjustment.  A relationship was found between the nature of family of origin dysfunction, the quality of adult attachment, and adult psychological health. The overindulgence of children is a common theme as well as concern in today’s culture. Until now, what little people did know about overindulgence was often confused with spoiling children.  This study explores the relationship between childhood overindulgence and characteristics (family cohesion and adaptability, self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-righteousness, satisfaction with life, dysfunctional attitudes, and life distress) in college students (young adulthood). Results indicate that childhood overindulgence is significantly related to a number of negative characteristics in young adulthood: lower self-efficacy, an inflated sense of self-righteousness, and an increase in dysfunctional attitudes. Further, these negative characteristics were also associated with other indicators of overindulgence: lack of chores, too many toys, too much clothes, too much freedom, parents being over-loving and providing attention, lack of rules, not enforcing the rules, and parents providing too much entertainment. Childhood overindulgence was not significantly related to self-esteem, satisfaction with life, life distress, socioeconomic background, or type of family system in young adulthood.

Bredehoft,  D. J., Mennicke, S. A., Potter, A. M., & Clarke, J. I. (1998). Perceptions attributed by adults to parental overindulgence during childhood. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences Education, 16(2), 3-17.

Overindulgent parents inundate their children with family resources (material wealth, time, experiences) at developmentally inappropriate times.  Surveys were collected from 730 subjects of which 124 identified themselves as adult children of overindulgence (ACO).  Results indicated that ACOs were: overindulged most often by both parents; overindulged for a significant period of their lives; and overindulged due to parental issues such as poverty, chemical dependency or overwork.  ACOs simultaneously felt both positively and negatively about the overindulgence, that is, they felt loved, confused, guilty, bad and sad.  Overindulgence was related to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and addiction.  ACOs reported being affected by the overindulgence into adulthood, indicated by symptoms such as overeating, overspending, and experiencing problems with childrearing, interpersonal boundaries, and decision making.  Implications for parents and family educators are presented.

Capron, E. W. (2004). Types of pampering and the narcissistic personality trait [Electronic version]. Journal of Individual Psychology, 60(1), 76-93.

Four types of pampering were identified and investigated: overindulgence, overpermissiveness, overdomineering, and overprotection.  Results support hypothesis that individuals who are pampered in childhood are more likely to possess narcissistic personality traits in adulthood. Overall relationships between pampering and the narcissistic personality trait were stronger for women and some types of pampering.

Carson, D. K., Council, J. R., & Gravley, J. E. (1991). Temperament and family characteristics as predictors of children's reactions to hospitalization. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 12(3), 141-147.

A study of children who received a tonsillectomy found that family adaptability and cohesion were not significantly related to the children’s reactions to hospitalization.  However, overindulgence of the child was correlated with poorer adjustment. 

Dawson, C., & Bredehoft, D. J. (2005). The unwanted and unintended long-term results of overindulging children: Three types of overindulgence and corrective strategies for parents and institutions. In G. R. Walz & R. K. Yep (Eds.), Vistas: Compelling perspectives on counseling 2005 (pp.87-90). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Friedlander, D. (1945). Personality development of twenty-seven children who later became psychotic. Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology, 40, 330-335.

Cases obtained by the Institute of Juvenile Research were reviewed for the history before mental disorder was suspected.  The two disorders examined were schizophrenic and psychopathic personalities.  Findings include that extremes of discipline or overindulgence by parents was common.  

Hollingsworth, P. L. (1990). Making It through Parenting. Gifted Child Today, 13(3), 2-7.

An article on extremes of parenting behavior including: perfectionism, overindulgence, over-coercion, and over-permission and how to avoid them.  Article also highlights parenting in relation to the personality of a gifted child. 

Homer, S. H., Solheim, C. A., Zuiker, V. S., & Ballard, J. (2016). The link between childhood overindulgence and adult financial behaviors. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 27(1), 80-91.

Kligman, D. H., Szmuilowicz, J., Choptiany, E., & Sameshima, T. (1980). Aggressive preschoolers: A pilot study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 25(3), 247-250.

Assessed the relationship between the level of aggressiveness in preschoolers and constitutional, lack of maternal attunement to the child’s needs, passive experience of aggression, parental overindulgence, and the presence of precipitant.  A strong predictive association between the variables as a group and the level of aggressiveness was found. 

Korbin, J. (1977). Anthropological contributions to the study of child abuse.  International Child Welfare Review, 35, 23-31.

Presents evidence of cross cultural childrearing that has an impact on child abuse.  Cases of culturally acceptable severe punishment and high indulgence of children are discussed. 

Pietropinto, A. (1985). Effect of unhappy marriages on children. Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 19(2), 173-181.

A record of psychiatrist responses to a survey on the effects of unhappy marriages on children.  Topics of concern include effect on children's emotional maturation, emotional neglect, and overindulgence of children y incompatible parents.

Rosenfarb, I.S., Becker, J., Mintz, J. (1994). Dependency, self-criticism, and perceptions of socialization experiences. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103(4), 669-675.

The relationship between dependency and self-criticism to the perceptions of socialization were examined in bipolar, non-bipolar depressed, and non-psychiatric control females.  Controlling for the level of depression, dependency was found to be slightly related to perceptions of increased parental attention and overindulgence.

Saul, L. J., & Wenar, S. (1965). Early influences on development and disorders of personality. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 34(3), 327-389.

A literature review of research on Freud’s concept of the lasting effects of early influences on the adult personality.  Studies are cited in areas of parental rejection, distortions in mother-child relationship, overindulgence, as well as many others.

Sayeda, Akhtar. (1978). Parental attitudes and resultant behaviour of children.. Child Psychiatry Quarterly, 11(2), 37-48.

A description of abnormal parental attitudes that may lead to emotional problems in children, including: over-affection, over-protection and overindulgence.  Also, includes management and treatment of these attitudes.

Scheiner, A. P. et al (1985). The vulnerable child syndrome: Fact and theory. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 6(5), 298-301.

Depression and over-protection was assessed in mothers of low birth-weight (LBW) infants and mothers of normal infants.  Results indicate that mothers of LBW infants did not demonstrate a greater degree of either trait.  Furthermore, the presence of overindulgence in nearly a 1/3 of mothers of normal infants suggests that these characteristics may be more prevalent than previously thought.

Symonds, P. M. (1949). The dynamics of parent-child relationships. Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University.

A book for counselors and psychotherapists on distortions of parents’ attitudes towards children.  Subjects addressed include parental overindulgence and overprotection.

Thomas, F., Thelin, T.,  Aspegren-Jansson, E., Sveger, T. (1986). Identifying children at high somatic risk: Possible long-term effects on the parents' relationship to the child.  Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 74(4), 347-352.

The effects of the identification of antitypsin deficienty (ATD) in 5-7 year old children was assessed on selected parental aspects, including overindulgence, and was compared to these same aspects of parents with non-ATD children.  Evidence did not support the hypothesis of a negative effect on the parent-child relationship with the identification of ATD.

Tobias, J. J. (1970). Counseling the affluent suburban male delinquent. National Catholic Guidance Conference Journal, 14(2),  80-86.

Suburban youth were examined, including 100 offenders and 100 controls.  Delinquent offenders shared significant characteristics including: poor parental attitudes toward respect for law, no feeling of being needed, and parental overindulgence.

Walcheski, M. J., Bredehoft, D. J., & Leach, M. K. (2007). Overindulgence, parenting styles, and parent sense of competence: Executive Summary: Study 4.

This study explores the following questions: Is parental overindulgence related to specific parenting styles? And, is there a relationship between lack of parenting skills, parenting satisfaction, and parental overindulgence? The sample consisted of 311 parents (89% female, 11% male; ages 20-79; Mean age 40.2) from 42 states and four additional countries outside of the United States.As predicted, the more parents overindulge their children, the more likely they were not to be authoritative (less likely to use reasoning and induction); to be authoritarian (to use verbal/hostility, and corporal punishment), and to be permissive (lack of follow-through, ignore misbehavior, and lack parental self-confidence). As predicted, parents who overindulge their children lack a global sense of competence about their parenting, lack parental efficacy (feels competent, capable of problem solving, and familiarity with parenting), and lack parenting satisfaction (feels frustrated, anxious, and are poorly motivated) with parenting. Available from

Young, R. K. (1986). Primiparas' attitudes toward mothering. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 9(4), 259-272.

Attitudes of mothering was assed in mothers of infants at one, six, and twelve months.  A significant positive correlation between attitudes toward mothering on the Acceptance, Overindulgence, and Overprotection scales and their perceptions of their own mothers’ attitudes toward mothering.


Abbe, A. E. (1958). Maternal attitudes toward children and their relationship to the diagnostic category of the child. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 92, 167-173.

Mothers of disturbed children demonstrated more lenient and overindulgent attitudes than mothers of normally adjusted children.  No differences between mothers of neurotic children or children with primary behavior disorders were found compared to mothers of other disturbed children.

Carson, D. K., Schauer, R. W. (1992). Mothers of children with asthma: Perceptions of parenting stress and the mother-child relationship. Psychological Reports, 71(3), 1139-1148.

Mothers of asthmatic children and mothers of healthy children were assessed using the Mother-Child Relationship Evaluation.  Findings indicate that mothers with asthmatic children tend to be more overindulgent that mothers in normative groups.

Dellisch, H. (1977). On the infantile form of anorexia. Zeitschrift fuer Kinder-und Jugendpsychiatrie, 5(2), 128-137.

A case study of a 7 year old girl with anorexia nervosa.   Explores the family dynamic and identifies the mother as being insecure and overindulgent.

Eiser, C., Eiser, J. R., Town, C., Tripp, J. H. (1991). Discipline strategies and parental perceptions of preschool children with asthma. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 64(1), 45-53.

Parents of asthmatic children and those with healthy children were interviewed regarding their involvement in everyday care, discipline practices, perceptions of their child, and situations that were particularly stressful.  Data collected from these interviews do not support assumptions that parents of children with asthma are more permissive or overindulgent.

Hicks, D. A., & Mathis, A. G. (1980, March). Perceived parenting patterns and adult personality: Implications for psychotherapy. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (26th, Washington, DC. (CLEARINGHOUSE_NO: CG014631, EDRS_PRICE: EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage). Geographic Source: U.S., Florida.

An investigation of parenting characteristics and their effects on the adult personality.  Three parenting patterns were identified as (1) overcoercive, perfectionistic, unitive, neglectful; (2) oversubmissive and overindulgent; and (3) mutually respectful.  Findings suggest that parenting patterns are identifiable and have effects on developing personalities. 

Kohn, M., Rosman, B. L. (1971). Therapeutic intervention with disturbed children in day care: Implications of the deprivation hypothesis. Child Care Quarterly, 1(1), 21-46.

A pilot study on an individualized teaching approach with therapeutic aims for disturbed children in day care.  Children recognized with an anger-defiance temperament were found to have mothers who were overprotective, overindulgent and over-controlling.

Little, L. F. & Thompson, R. (1983).  Truancy: How Parents and Teachers Contribute. School Counselor, 30(4), 285-291.

Compared attitudes and behaviors of parents of junior high students who are regularly truant and parents of students who regularly attend.  Findings suggest that parents contribute to truancy by being overprotective and overindulgent.

McNeil, T. F., Thelin, T.,  Aspegren-Jansson, E., Sveger, T. (1986). Identifying children at high somatic risk: Possible long-term effects on the parents' relationship to the child.  Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 74(4), 47-352.

The effects of the identification of antitypsin deficienty (ATD) in 5-7 year old children was assessed on selected parental aspects, including overindulgence, and was compared to these same aspects of parents with non-ATD children.  Evidence did not support the hypothesis of a negative effect on the parent-child relationship with the identification of ATD.

Miller, D. L. (1972). Preschooler's perceptions of parental attributes and their effect on behavior in nursery school. Child Study Journal, 2(4), 197-203.

A study of preschoolers behavior and the perceived family type of the parents.  A relationship was found between perceptions of parents as punitive or overindulgent and the exhibition of negative socializing and dependent behavior.

Pelcovitz, D. et al (1984). Adolescent abuse: Family structure and implications for treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 23(1), 85-90.

An analysis of families where thirteen to eighteen year old adolescents were abused.  Families studied fell into three groups.  One group included overindulgent families where a pattern of overly permissive parenting with sporadic violent attempts at control seemed to be associated with a loss of a parent by a parent.

Phillips, A. (1930). Three behavior problems. Psychological Clinic,19, 83-95.

States that three cases of retardation are due to faulty social control in the home.  Also, that children showed temper tantrums and intense fears because of overindulgent parental failure to develop good habits in their children.

Pitfield, M. & Oppenheim, A. N. (1964). Child rearing attitudes of mothers of psychotic children. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 5(1), 51-57.

Examined mothers of normal, mongol, and psychotic children attitudes of strictness and acceptance/rejection.  Mothers of psychotic children were found to be more lenient and indulgent than mothers of normal children.

Sano, K., Sumita, F., Bando, S., & Yoshikawa, Y. (1984). Consideration of the etiology and prevention of school refusal based on life history. Japanese Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 25(5), 285-295.

An examination of the etiological background of refusal to attend school in youth attending elementary, junior high school, and high school.  Parents of children that refused to attend school were generally inconsistent, overindulgent, and permissive.

Over-involvement, Over-help

Bentsen, H., Boye, B., Munkvold, O. G., Notland, T. H., et al. (1996). Emotional overinvolvement in parents of patients with schizophrenia or related psychosis: Demographic and clinical predictors. British Journal of Psychiatry,169(5), 622-630.

Examined demographic and clinical predictors of parental emotional over-involvement of inpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizophreniform.  Results showed that higher emotional over-involvement was significantly related to being a mother, single, and spending more time with the patient. 

Bentsen, H., Boye, B.,  Munkvold, O. G., Uren, G.; et al (1996). Inter-rater reliability of expressed emotion ratings based on the Camberwell Family Interview. Psychological Medicine, 26(4), 821-828.

Inter-rater reliability was examined on Camberwell Family Interviews completed by family members of acutely admitted schizophrenic patients.  Inter-rater reliability was good for criticism, hostility, emotional over-involvement, and expressed emotion. 

Blair, C., Freeman, C., & Cull, A. (1995). The families of anorexia nervosa and cystic fibrosis patients. Psychological Medicine, 25(5), 985-993.

Families of anorexia nervosa patients (AN), cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and a control group were examined.  Families of AN patients and CF patients demonstrated more emotional over-involvement than the control group.  Emotional over-involvement was found to be correlated with illness severity.

Byrne, J., & Carr, A. (1995). Psychosocial profiles of Irish children with conduct disorders, mixed disorders of conduct and emotion and emotional disorders. Irish Journal of Psychology,16(2), 117-132.

A comparison between children with conduct disorders, children with emotional disorders, and children with both conduct and emotional disorders.  Children with emotional disorders showed the fewest behavioral problems and were characterized by familial over-involvement.

Fullinwider-Bush, N., &  Jacobvitz, D. B. (1993). The transition to young adulthood: Generational boundary dissolution and female identity development. Family Process, 32(1), 87-103.

Examines a questionnaires filled out by undergraduate women about their family relationships and level of identity exploration.  Reports of parent-child boundary dissolution characterized by over-involvement were related to less exploration in dating relationships.

Gilbert, D. T. , & Silvera,  D. H. (1996). Overhelping [Electronic version]. Journal of  Personality and Social Psychology, 70(4), 678-690.

Overhelping is explored in relation to people’s understanding of the logic of overhelping.  The intervention principle was also used to explore the results of overhelping.  People appear to know when help is likely to spoil someone’s reputed ability and when it is likely to enhance it.  It is unknown how often overhelping occurs in natural settings.

Hashemi, A. H., & Cochrane, R. (1999). Expressed emotion and schizophrenia: A review of studies across cultures. International Review of Psychiatry, 11(2-3), 219-224.

Research demonstrates how different cultures, that may seem similar to European researches, are actually quite different in ways in which they react to mental illness in a relative.  Two aspects that were assessed among different cultures were expressed emotion and emotional over-involvement.

Kazarian, S. S. (1992). The measurement of expressed emotion: A review. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 37(1), 51-56.

A review of the Camberwell Family Interview used to assess criticism, hostility, and emotional over-involvement of relatives toward a family member with a psychiatric illness.

Patterson, P., Birchwood, M., & Cochrane, R. (2000). Preventing the entrenchment of high expressed emotion in first episode psychosis: Early developmental attachment pathways, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34, S191-S197.

Examines expressed emotion and loss in a sample of first episode psychosis individuals and their families.  High emotional over-involvement and low criticism were found to be associated with significantly high levels of perceived loss in relatives.

Smith, S. M. & Hanson, R. (1975). Interpersonal relationships and childrearing practices in 214 parents of battered children. British Journal of Psychiatry, 127, 513-525.

Examined child-rearing methods, background factors, personality characteristics, and social class in child battering.  Results show inconsistency in child management when comparing lack of demonstrativeness and emotional over-involvement with physical punishment and less supervision of the child.

Szmukler, G. I.,  Berkowitz, R.,  Eisler, I.,  Leff, J., et al. (1987). Expressed emotion in individual and family settings: A comparative study. British Journal of Psychiatry 151, 174-178. 

Expressed emotion was examined with parents of children suffering from anorexia nervosa.  Findings include a high correlation for critical comments and a significant correlation for emotional over-involvement.

Vostanis, P., Burnham, J. & Harris, Q.  Changes of expressed emotion in systemic family therapy.  Journal of Family Therapy, 14(1), 15-27.

Examination of the levels of expressed emotion throughout family therapy.  Emotional over-involvement and criticism decreased during the course of therapy, with warmth increased.

Vostanis, P., & Nicholls, Judith (1995). Nine-month changes of maternal expressed emotion in conduct and emotional disorders of childhood: A follow-up study. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 36(5), 833-84.

Mothers of 6-11 year olds with conduct disorders and mothers of children with emotional disorders were interviewed and rated for expressed emotion.  Expressed emotion was measured by the global scales of Warmth and Emotional Over-Involvement on the Camberwell Family Interview.

Wamboldt, M. Z., Wamboldt, F. S., Gavin, L., & McTaggart, S. (2001). A parent-child relationship scale derived from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(8), 945-953.

Examined a measure of children’s perception of their relationship with parents using the Parent-Child Relationship Scale (PCRS).  The PCRS was found to have good internal reliability.  Divergent validity is demonstrated by the fact that PCRS was not significantly related to high emotional over-involvement.

Wells, M., Glickauf-Hughes, C., & Bruss, K. (1998). The relationship of co-dependency to enduring personality characteristics. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 12(3), 25-38.

A study of whether co-dependency is significantly related to self defeating personality characteristics.   Core concepts of over-involvement with caretaking were assessed and results indicate that co-dependency is related to a unique set of personality characteristics associated with self defeating characteristics.

Overprotection, Overprotective

Accardo, P. J., Caul, J., Whitman, B. (1989). Excessive water drinking: A marker of caretaker interaction disturbance. Clinical Pediatrics, 28(9), 416-418.

The parents of children in foster care, who were excessive water drinkers, were examined to determine if this behavior could serve as an indicator of parent-child problems and inadequate nurturance.  Family interviews indicate that parent-child interaction patterns were rejecting, overprotective and overindulgent.

Adenzato, M., Ardito, R. B., & Izard, E. (2006). Impact of maternal directiveness and overprotectiveness on the personality development of a sample of individuals with acquired blindness. Social Behavior and Personality, 34(1), 17-26.

This study looked at the direct and overprotective behavior shown to blind children by their mothers. Results showed that direct and overprotective behavior from the mothers did not result in negative effects as long as it was accompanied by positive expressions. Loving support was seen as encouragement to the child, and appropriate for his or her development.

Bhaskaran, K. (1963).  A psychiatric study of paranoid schizophrenics in a mental hospital in India. Psychiatric Quarterly, 37(4), 734-751.

Cases of first-admission paranoid schizophrenics were studied and findings indicate that parental overprotection and overindulgence during childhood occurred with notable frequency.  

Britton, P. C., & Fuendeling, J. M. (2005). The relations among varieties of adult attachment and the component of empathy. The Journal of Social Psychology, 145(5), 519-530.

This study explored the relations between recollections of parental bonds, the dimensions of romantic attachment and Davis’s components of empathy.  Results indicated romantic anxiety and parental overprotection accounted for a significant amount of variance in personal distress both independently and conjointly. Results also suggest parental intrusiveness and control may lead to increased negative emotions.

Handford, A. H., Mayes, S. D.,  Bagnato, S. J.,  Bixler, E. O. (1996).  Relationships between variations in parents' attitudes and personality traits of hemophilic boys.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry; American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 56(3), 424-434. 

Personality traits of hemophilic boys and variations in parental attitudes were assessed and results indicated that intelligence, emotional stability and security were positively linked to parental acceptance.  Results differed from past clinical reports in that parents also scored low in overprotection and overindulgence.

Hillman, B. W., & Perry, T. (1975). The parent-teacher education center: Evaluation of a program for improving family relations. Journal of Family Counseling, 3(1), 11-16.

An evaluation of the functioning of the Sunny Brae Parent-teacher Education Center.  New parents enrolled in the program were found to be significantly less overprotection and overindulgent

Levy, D. M. (1939). Maternal overprotection. Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes, 2, 563-597.

A discussion of the methods of maternal control, in particular overindulgence and over-domination, and the effects on the personality of the children who experienced it.

Paley, G., Shapiro, D. A., Worrall-Davies, A. (2000). Familial origins of expressed emotion in relatives of people with schizophrenia. Journal of Mental Health (UK), 9(6), 655-663.

Examines parental influences over expressed emotion with schizophrenics in their adult life.  Maternal overprotection was positively correlated to emotional over-involvement.

Thomasgard, M. &  Metz, W. P. (1993). Parental overprotection revisited. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 24(2), 67-80.

A critical review of indulgent and overprotective parent child relationships.  A new model of parental overprotection is presented taking into account the child, parent, family, socio-cultural, environmental, and resiliency factors.

Whitman, B., &  Zachary, R. A. (1986). Factor Structure of the Mother-Child Relationship Evaluation. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 46(1), 135-141.

The Roth’s Mother Child Relationship Evaluation was administered to mothers and fathers of children aged three to eleven.  The underlying dimensions of acceptance, overprotection, overindulgence, and rejection were also assessed and results suggest a need for revision of the instrument.

Nikelly, A. G. (1967). Maternal indulgence and neglect and maladjustment in adolescents. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 23(2), 148-150.

An exploration of the relationship between poor emotional adjustment in college students who receive psychiatric and how they perceive their mothers as treating them.  Mothers of patients seeking psychotherapy were found to be more overprotecting and pampering.

Parenting Styles, Parenting, Parental Bonds

Cardenas-Rivera, N. G. (1995). A study of acculturation, parenting style, and adolescents' academic achievement in a group of low socioeconomic status Mexican American families. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A, Humanities & Social Sciences, 56, 2-A, p. 0491.

An exploration the relationship between parental level of acculturation and parenting style.  No associations between parental level of acculturation and parenting style were found.

Carey, T. A. (1994). Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child. Is This a Sensible Justification for the Use of Punishment in Child Rearing? Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, 18(12), 1005-1015.

A discussion of the use of punishment in child rearing.  Article defines punishment, examines the Bible proverb, and identifies criteria for effective punishment.

Coe, G. D., Thornburg, K. R. &  Ispa, J. M. (1996). Infant childrearing: Beliefs of parents and child care providers. Child Study Journal, 26(2), 109-124.

An examination of differences among mothers, fathers, and child care providers in beliefs about infant child-rearing.  No significant changes in parental beliefs about infant child-rearing was found over time.

Flouri, E. (2004). Mother’s nonauthoritarian child-rearing attitudes in early childhood and children’s adult values [Electronic version]. European Psychologist, 9(3), 154-162.

This study investigated the long term link between parent child-rearing attitudes and children’s adult values. Results indicate mothers’ nonauthoritarian child-rearing attitudes were positively related to children’s antiracism and environmentalism and negatively related to children’s political cynicism, support for work ethic, support for authority, and support for traditional marital values.

Gitelson, I. B., & McDermott, D. (2006). Parents and their young adult children: Transitions to adulthood. Child Welfare, 85(5), 853-866.

Article discussed transition from adolescence to young adulthood and role of the parents during this time. Suggestions were given to parents who want to raise children with a sense of autonomy and competence. Society’s role in providing programs to help in this transition was considered.

Greenspan, S. (2006). Rethinking “harmonious parenting” using a three-factor discipline model. Child Care in Practice, 12(1), 5-12.

Author discussed how Baumrind’s “harmonious parenting,” a category of authoritative parenting, should be used and recognized rather than the authoritative parenting style. It was argued that harmonious parenting would promote a reasonable level of control and independence for the child. This involved less limit setting and more tolerance.

IImbesi, L. (1999). The making of a narcissist. Clinical Social Work Journal, 27(1), 41-54.

This paper suggests that faulty parenting is present in all psychological disturbances.  The Article provides clinical case examples that demonstrate common personality characteristics in the parents and parenting styles of children with narcissistic disorder. 

Jenner, Sue. (1999). The parent/child game: The proven key to a happier family. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Emphasizes the necessity for parents to change their behavior from child-directive to child-centered and identifies the five most common faulty parenting styles: inconsistent, authoritarian, over-dependent, distant, and neglectful.

Kasser, T., Koestner, R., & Lekes, N. (2002). Early family experiences and adult values: A 26-year prospective longitudinal study [Electronic version]. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(6), 826-835.

This research examines how factors present in early childhood relate to the values people hold as central when they are adults. Results show families with lower socioeconomic status had parents who tended to be more restrictive. Results seem to suggest that something about the effects of parental restrictiveness and warmth, beyond their association with socioeconomic status, may lead individuals to differentially orient towards values as an adult.

Kriegman, G. (1983). Entitlement attitudes: Psychosocial and therapeutic implications. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 11(2), 265-281.

 A discussion of attitudes of entitlement that describes normal entitlement as children developing the attitude that they have certain rights to satisfactions appropriate to their age and level of development.  Article also describes excessive entitlement attitudes and non-entitlement as a product of parenting style

Liang, S., & Sugawara, A. I. (1992). Reflections on parenting practices in urban China today. Early Child Development & Care, 81, 5-24.

Addresses the parenting practices in urban china during 1992.  Asserts that parents place all of their hopes on their only child, which leads to highly indulgent, protective, and lenient parenting styles.

Mitchell, A. (1983). Parent grafting: A second chance at utter reliability. Transactional Analysis Journal, 13(1), 25-27.

Article suggests that people who lacked competent parenting may be missing a sense of utter reliability.  A specific process is explained that is based on the person’s own resources and identifies the missing parenting function.

Overbeck, G., Vollebergh, W., Meeus, W., deGraaf, R., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2004). Young adults’ recollections of parental bonds: Does satisfaction with partner relationships mediate the longitudinal association with mental disorders? [Electronic version]. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 39, 703-710.

Researchers looked at whether recollections of parental bonds longitudinally related to prevalence of mental disorders in young adulthood and if these associations would be mediated by young adults’ satisfaction with partner relationships. Recollections of low quality parental bonds were associated with anxiety and mood disorders but not substance disorders. Results may indicate little cross-relationship continuity in the experience of intimacy between the relationships with parents and with partners.

Palmer, B. G. (2001). Co-parenting relationships and parenting styles after divorce or separation: Factors predicting adolescents' adjustment. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences & Engineering, 61, 12-B, p. 6717. 

A study designed to examine the relationship between co-parenting relationship, parenting style, and adolescents’ adjustment to the divorce of their parents. Results indicate that permissive and indulgent parents reported greater bitterness in the co-parenting relationship.

Petersmeyer, C. (1999). Adolescent risk behaviour as related to parenting styles. (eighth-grade). Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, Humanities & Social Sciences, 59, 11-A, p. 4058.

An investigation of adolescents’ level of interest and engagement in risk behaviors and how this relates to adolescents’ and parents’ perceptions of two parenting variables.  Adolescents’ perceptions of parental demandingness were inversely related to interest in risk behaviors.

Power, T. G., Kobayashi-Winata, H., & Kelley, M. L. (1992). Childrearing patterns in Japan and the United States: A cluster analytic study. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 15(2), 185-205.

Children and mothers from Japan and the US were assessed on parenting styles.  U.S. parents were predominantly authoritative, permissive and authoritarian and Japanese parents had more indulgent and strict styles.

Silby, Caroline Jane. (1995). Differences in sport confidence among elite athletes with different perceived parenting styles. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, Humanities & Social Sciences,55(10-A), p. 3145.

An examination of the differences in sport-confidence among elite athletes with different perceptions of their parents parenting style.  The parenting framework was authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful.  No interaction was found between parenting style, gender, and sport on confidence.

Slicker, E. K. (1998). Relationship of parenting style to behavioral adjustment in graduating high school seniors. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 27(3), 345-372.

Research on the four prototypic parenting styles and the relationship to psychosocial and behavioral adjustment.  Study uses a sample of graduating high school seniors.

Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S. D., Darling, N., Mounts, N. S., et al. (1994). Over-time changes in adjustment and competence among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful families. Child Development, 65(3), 754-770. 

A replication of a previous study examining adolescent’s adjustment as a function of their parents’ style (authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, neglectful).  A one year follow up was then conducted to see if differences were maintained over time.

Stern, Sheldon Bernard. (1999). The parenting styles of mothers and aggression in AD/HD children. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences & Engineering, 60(3-B), p. 1332.

Investigated the relationship between parental acceptance and control and children’s hostility and aggression.  It was hypothesized that children from authoritative parenting would demonstrate the lowest amount of aggression and the best behavioral/emotional functioning as compared to children from indulgent-permissive parenting.  Results were counter to the hypothesis.

Villar, P., Luengo, M. A., Gomez-Fraguela, J. A., & Romero, E. (2006). Assessment of the validity of parenting constructs using the multitrait-multimethod model.  European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 22(1), 59.

Parent-child relationships and parenting styles were assessed through self-reports of adolescents and parents. This was done through the use of the multitrait-multimethod model, which allowed the researchers to look at each family member’s perceptions and evaluate the relationship. Confirmatory factor analysis and method effects were also used to show the perceptions of family conflict, family communication, and parenting styles.

Wang, Q. (1998). Correlative study of family discipline and mental health of middle school students. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 12(5), 276-277.

A study of correlations of mental health status and family discipline in middle school Chinese students.  Students psychological symptomatic distress and parental discipline methods were analyzed.

Watson, P. J., Little, T., & Biderman, M. D. (1992). Narcissism and parenting styles. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 9(2),  231-244.

An investigation of authoritative, permissive, and authoritarian parenting styles in the context of Kohut’s psychology of the self.  Three hypotheses were tested regarding perceived parenting style and narcissistic maladjustment, immature grandiosity, and inadequate idealization.


Koeske, G. F. (1998). Suppression in the study of parenting and adolescent symptoms: Statistical nuisance and nonsense, or scientific explanation? Journal of Social Service Research, 24(1-2), 111-130.

A study on adolescents’ who rated their parents’ discipline relevant behaviors and their own problems with psychological and somatic symptoms.  Permissive parenting significantly predicted higher symptoms.


Bagley, C. (1975). Suicidal behaviour and suicidal ideation in adolescents: A problem for counsellors in education. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 3(2), 190-208.

A literature review of the prevalence and causes of suicidal behavior and ideation in adolescents.  Data show that completed and attempted suicide is increasing.  A factor that appears to be associated with suicidal behavior is an increase in anomie that is associated with a variety of self-indulgent behavior in youth. 

Blau, A. (1943). Childhood behavior disorders and delinquency. Mental Hygiene, 27, 261-266.

Article asserts that antisocial behavior has the feature of being self-indulgent and rebellious and that infantile behavior may be the model of criminality.  Article states that this is because the child misbehaves when he is unhappy and discovers that it is a means of maintaining emotional balance. 

Guttman, H. A. (1983). Autonomy and motherhood. Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes, 46(3), 230-235.

Discusses the notion of autonomy in mothers, which by some, is considered selfish and self-indulgent.  Author examines the concept of autonomy, the concept of a good mother, and considers whether the two are compatible.

Heggen, J. R., & Irvine, F. (1967). A study of the factors that may influence the implementation of a vocational education curriculum at the Utah State Industrial School.

Students at the Utah State Industrial School were studied to develop guidelines for selecting vocational training areas to be offered at the school in the future.  Students were found to have low levels of career interest, high levels of drives toward self-indulgent behavior and assertiveness. 

Janiec, E. (1997). The effect of the mother’s obesity on estimates of her child neglect. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B, The Sciences and Engineering, 57(8-B), p. 5329. 

A study investigating the hypothesis that a mother suspected of child neglect would be perceived as more neglectful if obese as compared to non-obese.  The basis for this study was research that demonstrated a stereotype of  obese people as more self-indulgent and less self-disciplined, which suggest traits of child neglect. 

Jiloha, R. C. (1986). Psycho-social factors in adolescent heroin addicts. Child Psychiatry Quarterly, 19(4), 138-142.

A study on male adolescent heroin addicts finds that the addict’s families tend to demonstrate short-range and self-indulgent goals.

Perry, Louise C. et al. (1985). Happiness: When does it lead to self-indulgence and when does it lead to self-denial? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 39, (2), 203-11.

Study supports hypothesis that happiness leads to self-indulgence when children don’t believe that excessive self-gratification is morally wrong and that happiness leads to self-denial when children believe that excessive self-gratification violates a moral rule. 

Rosenhan, D., Frederick, F., & Burrowes, A. (1968). Preaching and practicing: Effects of channel discrepancy on norm internalization. Child Development, 39(1), 291-301.

Investigated self reward in children by stimulating child socialization through a model verbally instructing and personally exhibiting high or low standards of self-reward.  Children exposed to a self-indulgent model tended to violate stringent and lenient norms.

Spoil, Spoiled, Spoiling

Adler, A. (1928). The cause and prevention of neuroses. Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology, 23, 4-11.

Article asserts that every human being is continually striving to achieve his/her life purpose and that in this process humans have to solve three great problems.  Failure in any of these three problems may be due to the “spoiled child” reaction. 

Alford, P., Martin, D., & Martin, M. (1985). A profile of the physical abusers of children. School Counselor, 33(2), 143-150.

Article argues that child abusers tend to be isolated, married adults, have conceived their children before marriage, live in homes of low socioeconomic status and hold a righteous belief in the value of harsh physical punishment in order to avoid spoiling children.  Additionally, article discusses the role of the school counselor and child abuse. 

Baker, J. L. (1959). The unsuccessful aged. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 7, 570-573.

Article asserts that manifestations of aging may be treated effectively if regarded as the inability to adjust to stress.  Further argues that senile behavior and the behavior of spoiled children stem from the same factor.

Baruch, D. W. (1949). New ways in discipline: You and your child today. Whittlesey House, Mcgraw-Hill.

Book intended to advise parents, teachers, and doctors on how to avoid the extremes of children who are spoiled

Beverly, B. I. (1947). Spoiled children. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 2, 90-92.

Article presents three cases of spoiled children and presents therapeutic recommendations to the parents of each child. 

Bossard, J. H. S. (1949). Social change in the United States. Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science, 265, 69-79.

Studies the impact of social change on the school child.  Problems are identified as unknown to earlier societies, but are now considered urgent to present day teachers.  Topics covered include: the delinquent child from a broken home, child neglect by the modern day woman, and the spoiled child

Bossard, J. H. S., & Boll, E. S. (1955). Personality roles in the large family. Child Development, 26, 71-78. 

A study of family roles through the examination of groups of siblings.  Seven types of sibling personalities were identified and discussed including: responsible, sociable, socially ambitious, studious, isolate, irresponsible, ill, and spoiled

Brook, U,  Watemberg, N. Geva, D. (2000). Attitude and knowledge of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disability among high school teachers. Patient Education & Counseling, 40(3), 247-252.

An investigation of teachers’ knowledge and attitudes towards attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities.  Thirteen percent of all teachers studied considered learning disabilities to be the result of parents spoiling their children.  

Chen, J., & Goldsmith, L. T. (1991, April). Social and behavioral characteristics of Chinese only children and its research concern. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA. 

Literature review of the social and behavioral characteristics of only children in China.  A majority of the studies indicated that compared with children with siblings, only children were more spoiled, more selfish, less independent, and showed less emotional well being. 

Coe, G.  (1995). The interplay between personality type and beliefs about infant childrearing. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, Humanities & Social Sciences, 56, 1-A, p. 0082.

A study designed to examine the differences among mothers, fathers, and child care. Providers on beliefs about infant childrearing.  Statistically significant differences were found between mothers and fathers in beliefs about spoiling.  

Corboz, R. J. (1969). Possibilities and tasks of child-psychiatry in educational counseling. Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie,18(5), 178-183.

Addresses the question: When should the social worker consult other experts?  Asserts that vocational guidance counselors and school psychologists are needed in cases of neglect as well as in cases of spoiling (which is considered a type of neglect).

Dreikurs, R. (1948). The challenge of parenthood. Duell, Sloan & Pearce.

A guide to parents intended to aid them in avoiding common mistakes in parenting such as, overindulgence and spoiling.  

Ehrensaft, D. (1997). Spoiling childhood: How well-meaning parents are giving children too much--but not what they need. The Guilford Press.

Book asserts that parents today are not more selfish or bad than previous generations, but that parents now days are caught up in a guilt driven parenting where they are considered to be parenting too much as well parenting too little.

Fagen, R. M. (1976). Three-generation family conflict. Animal Behaviour, 24(4), 874-879.

An Investigation of the circumstances under which a vertebrate grandparent would be selected to spoil its grandchild against the wishes of the child’s parent.  The model used in the study predicts that grandparent-grandchild alliances against the parent will not occur unless costs and benefits of behavioral acts are broad enough to impact three different kin categories at the same time. 

Finney, J. C. (1961). Some maternal influences on children's personality and character.  Genetic Psychology Monographs, 63, 199-278.

An investigation of maternal influences and the effects on the child.  Some maternal influences examined were nurturance, hostility, rigidity, and spoiling. 

Garner, P. W. (1996). Does hearing a lecture on attachment affect students' attitudes about "spoiling" infants? College Student Journal, 30(2), 168-172.

Examined whether student’s beliefs about spoiling young children are influences by a lecture on attachment theory and research.  Students opinions fluctuated based on arguments presented in the lecture.

Hooker, H. F. (1931). A study of the only child at school. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 39, 122-126.

Reports on a study of only children their performance in school.  Data supports that only children are not more nervous, spoiled, or delayed in school.

Ispa, J. M. (1995). Ideas about infant and toddler care among Russian child care teachers, mothers, and university students. Early Childhood Research Quarterly,10(3), 359-379.

Russian child care teachers, mothers and university students completed questionnaires concerning their childrearing ideas.  Results indicate values of strict adult control over children, obedience in children, and concern with infant spoiling.  Also, education level was inversely related to valuing of peer orientation and rule conformity. 

Krebs, H. ( 1980). On the biology of juvenile delinquency: Comments on the essay by Felton Earls, "The social reconstruction of adolescence: Toward an explanation for increasing rates of violence in youth." Perspectives in Biology & Medicine, 23(2), 179-188. 

Discusses a “science-based biomedical approach” to juvenile delinquency.  One factor stated to cause delinquency and lack of direction in adolescents’ lives is pampering or spoiling. 

Marberg, H. M. (1971). On the problem of spoiling in the education and development of the child. Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie, 20(3), 97-102.

The term spoiling is defined and the role of parents is analyzed within a psychodynamic framework.  Correlations of the type children who are spoiled and the type of parents who spoil their children are discussed.

Pascoe, J. M. & Solomon, R. (1994). Prenatal correlates of indigent mothers' attitudes about spoiling their young infants: A longitudinal study. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics,15(5), 367-369.

Examines mothers’ attitudes about spoiling their young infants.  More than half of the mothers surveyed indicated that infants under five months old could be spoiled.  Mothers who were “spoilers” were more likely to be depressed during pregnancy.

Riemer, M. D. (1940). Loving versus spoiling children. Mental Hygiene, 24, 79-81.

Article asserts and supports that children who come from homes where they receive little or no affection may be as spoiled as those who come from overprotected or overindulged homes.

Seidenfeld, M. A. (1950).  Let's help your child adjust. Cerebral Palsy Review, 11(5), 4-5.

Reports that to help  children attain their goals parents should provide tender loving care without babying, spoiling, or indulging them.

Solomon, R., Martin, K., & Cottington, E. (1993). Spoiling an infant: Father support for the construct. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 13(2), 175-183.

An investigation of whether there are important beliefs about spoiling an infant that my identify families at risk of misunderstanding their infant’s basic needs.  Significant differences were found in terms of demographics, definitions of spoiling, and belief about spoiling’s impact on development.

Sprott, J. E. (1994). One person's "spoiling" is another's freedom to become: Overcoming ethnocentric views about parental control. Social Science & Medicine, 38(8), 1111-1124.

Contends that that polarized ideas about parental control dominate the Anglo culture’s value orientations.  A cognitive method is explained to increase awareness of Anglo cultural assumptions.

Tudge, J., Hogan, D., Tammeveski, P., Kulakova, N., Meltsas, M., Snezhkova, I., & Putnam, S. (1997). Social change, socio-economic status, and the development of self-direction in children: A comparison of Russia, Estonia, and the United States.

A comparison of child rearing and parental beliefs in the United States, Russia, and Estonia.  No cultural differences were found, but results indicate that middle-class parents rated self-direction higher, control and discipline lower than working class parents.  Additionally they were less concerned with spoiling their children by giving attentions.

Wilkins, R. (1985). A comparison of elective mutism and emotional disorders in children. British Journal of Psychiatry, 146,  198-203.

Reports on the case notes of 24 children diagnosed as elective mutes.  Mothers of these children were characterized as over-protective and tending to spoil their children.

Zhang, Y.,  Kohnstamm, G. A., Cheung, P. C., &  Lau, S. (2001). A new look at the old "little emperor": Developmental changes in the personality of only children in China. Social Behavior & Personality, 29(7), 725-731.

Study of perception of Chinese parents of their children aged three to fourteen.  Negative descriptors of their children’s conscientiousness increased with age and there was no sign of a spoiling attitude in the parents.


Achenreiner, G. B., & John, D. R. (2003).  The meaning of brand names to children: A developmental investigation. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 13(3), 205-219.

This study investigated the age at which children begin use conceptual brand meanings to make consumer judgments. The study found age differences in terms of conceptual brand meaning.  Results indicate children learn to relate to brand names early but do not use conceptual brand meaning until about age 8 and begin to use conceptual and symbolic brand meanings enter by age 12.

Arnould, E. J., & Thompson, C. J. (2005). Consumer culture theory (CCT): Twenty years of research [Electronic version]. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(4), 868-882.

Consumer culture theory is introduced as a family of theoretical perspectives that addresses the dynamic relationships between consumer actions, the marketplace, and cultural meanings. Four research programs of CCT are consumer identity projects, marketplace cultures, sociohistoric patterning of consumption and mass-mediated marketplace ideologies and consumers’ interpretive strategies.

Brody, L. R., Copeland, A. P., Sutton, L. S., Richardson, D. R., & Guyer, M. (1998). Mommy and daddy like you best: Perceived family favouritism in relation to affect, adjustment and family process. Journal of Family Therapy, 20, 269-291.

This research is an expansion of previous research that looks at the relationship of favouritism, disfavouritism, and other individual characteristics and how other family processes might relate to the process of favouritism/disfavouritism. Results indicate a modest agreement among siblings about perceptions of favouritism/disfavouritism. Disfavouristism was more apt to characterize families high in conflict, low in cohesiveness, and high in disengagement.

Cross, G. (2002). Valves of desire: A historian’s perspective on parents, children, and marketing [Electronic version. Journal of Consumer Research, 29(3), 441-447.

The author thoroughly investigates the history of marketing directly to children and its past effects. It was suggested that future consumer research should think more historically.  The author also suggests including parental concerns about direct advertising to children when future research is done.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). The costs and benefits of consuming [Electronic version].  Journal of Consumer Research, 27(2), 267-272.

The author explores the question, “How does consumption improve the quality of life?” through analysis of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is concluded that consumption does not lead to happiness and consumption does not meet the needs that people expect it to.

Fraad, H. (1993). Children as an exploited class. Journal of Psychohistory, 21(1), 37-51.

Presents historical events and evolutionary processes of the family and how children came to be exploited.  Also, discusses family values and organization of communal child care and its benefits for the child and parents.  

Mancillas, A. (2006). Challenging the stereotypes about only children: A review of literature and implications for practice. Journal of Counseling and Development, 84, 268-275.

Article reviewed society’s negative stereotypes of only children and the impact of birth order. Evidence was shown that only children were not at a disadvantage, and have very few differences in comparison to children with siblings. Maintaining a healthy relationship between parents and only children was also discussed.


© David J. Bredehoft, Jean Illsley Clarke & Connie Dawson 2004-2022;