SAFE-SORRY is a Starting Grant ERC project (2020) led by Stijn Van Petegem - Psychologie du développement et de la famille, Faculty of Psychology and Education

Popular and scientific accounts describe how the phenomenon of overprotective parenting (also labeled “helicopter parenting” or “overparenting”) is on the rise. This evolution is highly problematic, as it puts future generations of adolescents and parents at risk for mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. Although past research offered some insights into the causes of overprotection, thereby identifying a number of parent-related and child-related determinants, there is no systematic research on the societal, economic, and cultural causes of overprotective parenting.

By bringing together theories from multiple disciplines (including developmental psychology, social psychology, sociology, economics, and gender studies), the aim of this project SAFE-SORRY led by Stijn Van Petegem - Service de psychologie du développement et de la famille, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences is to test whether overprotection is rooted in parents’ context-related representations, such as their perceptions of societal expectations about how parents ought to raise children. Second, the project will examine whether specific characteristic of their cultural context shape these representations and intensify their tendency to engage in overprotective parenting. The third aim is to identify parental risk and resilience factors, which explain why some parents are either vulnerable or immune to these socio-cultural pressures.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC)
under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No GA 950289).

Created on September 3, 2020