Author: Suen, Suk-yin Christina
Title: An exploratory study on " maternal overprotection - its possible causes and implications on the development of a child's emotions, behaviors and social relationships"
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1996
Subject: Love, Maternal
Child development
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Pages: xi, 152 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Objectives of the Study: 1. To explore the possible causes of maternal overprotection. 2. To examine the impact of maternal overprotection on children aged 6 to 12 on the development of their emotions, behaviors and social relationships. 3. To examine the implications of this study on social work practice concerning prevention and treatment. Description of the Sample: This study invited the participation of 5 mothers and their 5 children aged 10 to 12. The mothers were identified by the helping professionals, including social workers, psychiatrists and nurses, as overprotective to their children. Methodology: This is an exploratory study. Data was collected from the mothers and the children through semi-structured and in-depth face-to-face interviews. An interviewing guideline with both open- and close-ended questions was constructed to guide the content of interview. For the close-ended questions, the data was analyzed by statistical descriptions. Qualitative data generated from open-ended questions was transcribed into text by the form of verbatim. The data was then categorized and analyzed according to the study objectives. Findings: The findings show that strong evidence in overprotecting their children was identified from the index mothers, which was reflected by excessive contacts with their children, active preventing of their children's age - appropriate growth from developing self-reliance through infantilizating activities and inappropriate in maternal control. The possible causes of maternal overprotection are due mainly to the maternal factors but child and paternal factors are not entirely without relevance. Under the care of the overprotective mothers, the children are found to have a lot of emotional and behavioral difficulties. Moreover, their social relationships are very dissatisfactory. Implications on Social Work Practice and Service Delivery: Treatment direction and methods have been suggested for the mothers, fathers and the children. Parent education is stressed as preventive measure. The role of schools in case detection and the Government's role in public education should be emphasized. Social services such as the provision of integrated family service centres, family psychiatric centres, half - way hostel for children and adolescents as well as strengthening of child and adolescent psychiatric services are also recommended.
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