Positive illusions in parenting: Every child is above average

Andrew Wenger, Blaine J. Fowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study examined the paradox between the difficulties of parenting and the high levels of parenting satisfaction in terms of positive illusions. Results were consistent with a positive illusions model, as biological parents with a child between the ages of 2 and 5 reported unrealistically positive views of their children. They rated their own children as possessing more positive and less negative attributes than the average child. The more positively parents rated themselves, the more positively they rated their children. Parents' self-esteem scores, unrealistically positive ratings of the child, and positive illusions of parenting were related to 3 aspects of the parenting experience. This study extends the literature on positive illusions to encompass parents' positive illusions about their young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-634
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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