Controlling Parents, Mean Kids

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The toxic effects of helicopter parenting may not end once children head off to college. A new study shows that undergrads who’ve been raised by controlling, manipulative moms and dads may take their anger and stress out on other students. Researchers from the University of Vermont interviewed 180 predominantly female college students about their relationship with their parents as well as their tendency to behave aggressively. Those with domineering parents were more likely to exhibit “relational aggression,” which often involves spreading rumors and backstabbing as well as excluding or publicly embarrassing friends, reports Medical Daily. The students’ physiological response to stress influences how they unleash this hostility on their peers, the study shows. Those who perspired more and grew more agitated while recounting a difficult experience were considered impulsive, while the students who sweated less and reacted calmly were deemed more calculating and manipulative. “If you’re calm, you can be strategic and planned in your aggression,” says lead researchers Jamie Abaied. “You can really use your aggression to control your relationship and stay dominant over your peers”

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