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Home / Sex and Relationship / Judging your child's happiness based on your feelings?

Judging your child's happiness based on your feelings?

The study which finds that parents judge their children's happiness based on their own feelings attributed the discrepancies to an 'egocentric bias'. Parents rely too heavily on their own feelings in assessing the happiness of the family unit as a whole.

sex-and-relationships Updated: Aug 03, 2015 19:44 IST
The-study-says-that-parents-of-10-and-11-year-olds-consistently-overestimate-their-child-s-happiness-while-those-with-15-and-16-year-olds-are-inclined-to-underestimate-Shutterstock-Photo( )

If you thought your child was happy, think again. Did you make the estimation based on your feelings or your child's?

A study has found that parents misjudged their children's happiness levels as they made the estimation based on their personal feelings and not of their children.

Parents of 10 and 11-year-olds consistently overestimated their child's happiness, while those with 15 and 16-year-olds were inclined to underestimate, the findings showed.

The study attributed the discrepancies to an 'egocentric bias' through which parents rely too heavily on their own feelings in assessing the happiness of the family unit as a whole.

"Being unable to read children's happiness appropriately may increase misunderstanding between parents and children or adolescents, which has been shown to have negative consequences for parent-child relationships," said one of the researchers Belen Lopez-Perez from the Plymouth University in Britain.

"Furthermore, parents might not be able to provide the appropriate emotional support or attend to their children's needs accurately," Lopez-Perez said.

For the study, which was published in the journal of Experimental Child Psychology, the researchers questioned a total of 357 children and adolescents from two different schools in Spain, along with their parents.

Their happiness was assessed using a range of self-reporting measures and ratings.

The results showed that parents were inclined to score a child or adolescents' happiness closely in line with their own emotional feelings, whereas in fact there were notable differences in the child's own reports.

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