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Estimated Number of Adults in the USA Raised with Unhealthy Control:  15 Million

Estimated Percentage of Controlling Parents
Who Were Themselves Raised with Unhealthy Control:
 50 Percent

In a survey of adults raised with unhealthy control, percentages who said:

As children they felt...

bulletForbidden to question or disagree with their parents: 90 percent
bulletPleasing their parents was more important than being themselves: 86 percent
bulletTense or on guard when their parents were around: 96 percent
bulletThat it was not okay to express anger, fear or sadness: 96 percent
bulletHemmed in and without choices: 96 percent

As adults they...

bulletFeel perfectionistic, driven, or rarely satisfied: 82 percent
bulletWorry or ruminate over confrontations: 96 percent
bulletAre easily angered around controlling people: 91 percent
bulletFeel extra-sensitive to criticism: 91 percent
bulletFeel tense when they think about visiting their parents: 78 percent
bulletFeel that their parents don't really know them as they really are: 91 percent
bulletFeel that it has taken a long time to separate from their parents: 82 percent

In retrospect, their parents...

bulletSeemed unwilling to admit it when they were wrong: 100 percent
bulletSeemed unaware of the pain they caused others: 100 percent
bulletViewed the world in right-or-wrong, black-and-white terms: 96 percent
bulletEncouraged connections with others outside the family: 14 percent
bulletEncouraged their children to express feelings: 5 percent

Estimates from If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World, HarperCollins Publishers, 1999

Survey results from a questionnaire of 40 adults age 23-58 who grew up with unhealthy control

Helpful resources about parental overcontrol

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If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace With Your Past and Take Your Place in the World
Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright Dan Neuharth, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.