Document Type


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Journal Title

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Publication Date



Although parental involvement is generally thought to be beneficial for children, it is unclear whether the intensive level of parenting that has become commonplace results in improved child outcomes. Intensive parenting may involve the desire to anticipate and solve children’s problems as well as to enroll them in numerous, structured activities that might enhance their physical, cognitive, and social abilities. We surveyed 241 parents to assess intensive parenting beliefs, anticipatory problem solving (APS), enrollment in structured activities, and developmental outcomes of their children ages 2–5. Using structural equation modeling, we found that intensive parenting beliefs predicted more APS, which predicted greater enrollment in creative and physical activities. However, enrollment in structured activities did not predict children’s developmental outcomes. Although parents may believe that expensive and time-consuming activities are the keys to ensuring their children’s health, happiness, and success, this study does not support this assumption.

Publisher Statement

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Child and Family Studies. The final authenticated version is available online at:

Full citation:

Schiffrin, H.H., Godfrey, H., Liss, M. et al. J Child Fam Stud (2015) 24: 2322.