Behind Every Successful Daughter Is a Pushy Mom, Study Suggests

Teenagers perturbed by their parents may have invented the dramatic eye roll, but a new study suggests that this decade of parental nagging may be entirely worth it—particularly for teenage girls. Researchers from the United Kingdom found that mothers who set high expectations for their daughters—and constantly reminded them of those expectations—were more likely to raise successful, self-sufficient women.

More specifically, these girls were more likely to attend college, but they were also less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, get stuck in dead-end jobs, or have prolonged periods of unemployment. Led by Ph.D. candidate Ericka G. Rascon-Ramirez, the team of researchers followed the lives of teenage schoolgirls aged 13 and 14 from a database of 15,500 students for an entire decade. The team ultimately identified the mother as the parent with the most “nagging power” over these adolescent girls, according to Daily Mail.

“In many cases, we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will,” said Rascon-Ramirez of teenage girlhood to Daily Mail. “But no matter how hard we tried to avoid our parents’ recommendations, it is likely that they ended up influencing, in a more subtle manner, choices that we had considered extremely personal.”

While there’s definitely a fine line between pushiness and helicopter parenting, it’s somewhat comforting to know that your angsty years of door-slamming and eye-rolling as a teen were worth it in the end. You can call and thank your mom now.

Have a daughter of your own? Share your thoughts on the new study below, and shop Girls Will Be Girls for more on raising confident young women.