Relations Among Parentification, Parenting Beliefs, and Parenting Behaviors
Instrumental parentification occurs when children take on adult chores, and emotional parentification occurs when children take the responsibility for providing an adult-level of emotional support. This study examined how the level of parentification and perceived unfairness in the childhood home affected adults’ parenting beliefs and future parenting behaviors. One hundred and seven young adults responded to the Parentification Questionnaire which assessed levels of instrumental parentification, emotional parentification, and perceived fairness. Participants were asked to imagine themselves as parents and then respond to questions that assessed their parenting beliefs, planned parenting behaviors, and demographics. Results revealed that emotional parentification and perceived unfairness were related to adults’ decreased self-esteem and feelings of attractiveness. In addition, parentification and perceived unfairness in the childhood home were linked to negative feelings toward participants’ own parents; however, parentification did not clearly predict factors associated with parenting.
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