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Doctoral student Cara Kiff and faculty member Liliana Lengua's research on parenting styles was featured in UW Today.

“We hear a lot about over-involved parents.” said Liliana Lengua. “It is parents’ instinct to help and support their children in some way, but it’s not always clear how to intervene in the best way. This research shows that parenting is a balance between stepping in and stepping out with guidance, support and structure based on cues from kids.” The study shows how parents can use their child’s personality and temperament to decide how much and what type of help to give. For some kids, particularly those who have trouble regulating their emotions, more help is good. But for kids who have pretty good self-control, too much parental control can lead to more anxiety and depression.”

Cara Kiff, psychology resident at the UW School of Medicine, is the lead author. Lengua and Nichole Bush, postdoc at University of California-SF, are co-authors. The study was published online August 1 in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology . “Kids’ anxiety, depression halved when parenting styled to personality,” . It has been covered by MSNBC, TIME’s Healthland blog, US News & World Report , Babble (parenting blog), and in Jezebel (popular culture for women). The lead author, Cara Kiff, was interviewed on Canada AM, Canadian version of the Today Show.