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Negative Parenting Test

Based on the work of Dr. John Philip Louis and his colleagues, the Negative Parenting Test examines whether you are struggling with common damaging patterns as a consequence of the way your parents treated you.

To take the Negative Parenting Test, indicate your answer to each of the following statements below.

Question 1 of 30

When I was young, my parents...

Placed strong emphasis on success and competition.



The IDRlabs Negative Parenting Test (IDR-YPT) was developed by IDRlabs. The IDR-YPT is based on the work of Dr. John Philip Louis, Ph.D., Alex M. Wood, Ph.D., and George Lockwood, Ph.D., who authored the tool. The IDR-YPT is not associated with any specific researchers in the field of personality psychology, counseling psychology, or any affiliated research institutions.

The test delivers feedback such as the following:

Competitiveness: Parents who are very competitive and seek status often pressure their children to achieve, and they see situations as competition, even if there is no explicit winner or loser. They do not celebrate their children’s improvements unless the children make the parents look good by being “special” or getting “first place.” Since such parents are often comparing their children to others, they easily get frustrated when their children do not outperform the majority, and they may unconsciously withhold love from the child because of their own need to be seen as special. Children of competitive parents may develop low self-worth, struggle with depression, become disengaged with their own feelings, feel guilty about not being good enough, or identify with the parents’ demands and attempt to present a grandiose façade.

Rejection: Parents who degrade and reject their children often exhibit criticisms, insults, and dismissive behavior toward them. They often humiliate their children, threaten to banish them from the parental relation or the house, and say aloud that they wish their children had never been born. Since a child’s self-worth gets eroded by constant rejection, children of such parents are often plagued by self-doubt, despondency, fear, passivity, aimlessness, and similar concerns.

Deprivation: Parents who deprive their children of emotional affection create adults who, in turn, will also become emotionally inhibited. Such people are often unable to seek out or ask for closeness in their own lives, have angry outbursts when their needs are not met, exhibit low stress tolerance, and tend toward unstable relationships in adulthood. Adults who were emotionally deprived by their parents are often unaware that they are even having problems with affection and closeness, and their partners often feel that they do not know “the real person” underneath the distant façade. Emotionally deprived individuals will, furthermore, often prefer to talk about what is being done or thought rather than what is being felt. Because of the hurt that they are carrying inside and their diminished capacity for emotional intimacy, children who grow up with emotionally distant parents tend to have failed relationships as adults – alternating between coldness and neediness, suffering from poor attachments to others, and having low self-esteem.

The IDRlabs Parenting Test was informed by the Parenting Inventory’s criteria for how you were treated by your parents when you were young, as published in Louis, J.P., Wood, A.M., & Lockwood, G. (2018). Psychometric validation of the Parenting Inventory - Revised (YPI-R2): Replication and Extension of a commonly used parenting scale in Schema Therapy (ST) research and practice, PLoS One, 13, 11: e0205605. Louis, John & Ortiz, Vida & Barlas, Joanna & Lee, Joyce & Lockwood, George & Chong, Wayne & Louis, Karen & Sim, Patricia. (2021). The Good Enough Parenting early intervention schema therapy based program: Participant experience. PLOS ONE. 16. e0243508. 10.1371/journal.pone.0243508.

The work of Dr. Louis and his colleagues has also informed some of the diagnostic criteria in the form of the widely used psychological instrument, the Parenting Inventory, for clinical use especially by qualified mental health professionals. The present test is intended for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and the present IDRlabs Parenting Test are independent of the above researchers, organizations, or their affiliated institutions.

The IDRlabs Parenting Test is based on a famous and well-regarded inventory for the assessment of the clinical concept of parenting. However, free online tests and quizzes such as this one are solely first takes and cannot provide accurate assessments of your potential condition. Hence, the test is intended to be used for educational purposes only. A definitive psychometric assessment can be made only by a qualified mental health professional.

As the publishers of this free online parenting test, which allows you to screen yourself for the characteristics and manifestations of your parenting; we have striven to make the test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting it to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes such as the present parenting test do not provide professional assessments or recommendations of any kind; the test is provided entirely “as-is.” For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. This Negative Parenting Test is delivered to you free of charge and will allow you to obtain your scores related to viewing your parents as manifesting competitiveness and status-seeking, degradation and rejection, emotional inhibition and deprivation, overprotection and overindulgence, punitiveness, and controlling behaviors.

2. Clinically oriented. The feedback delivered by this instrument is based on the work of Ph.D.s and is designed to deliver a clear clinical picture of the respondent’s current perceptions as to parenting as measured according to standardized items.

3. Statistical controls. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

4. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally with psychology and individual differences research.