Eight in 10 Parents of 0-17 Year Olds Feel Judged for the Behaviour of Their Children

A new study across 28 Countries by Ipsos finds that 8 in 10 Parents of 0-17 Year olds feel judged for the behaviour of their children

The author(s)

  • Kelly Beaver Public Affairs, UK
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A high proportion of parents feel judged

On average across the 28 countries surveyed, around four in five parents with a 0-17 year old (82%) report feeling judged very often, fairly often or sometimes. This rises to 9 in 10 parents in Singapore (92%), the United States (92%), Poland (91%) and South Korea (89%). Countries with the smallest proportions of parents feeling judged are Russia (65%) and Canada (73%).
Around one in ten parents (12%), on average across the 28 countries surveyed, say they feel judged ‘very often’. India is the country where the highest proportion of parents feel judged ‘very often’ (28%), followed by South Africa (23%) and Mexico (19%). Parents are least likely to report feeling judged ‘very often’ in China, Russia and Sweden (all 3%).
Their child’s/children’s behaviour and how they manage it are the top reasons given by parents for why people are judging them, mentioned globally by 46% and 39% of parents respectively. Parents in Italy and Spain are less likely to give these reasons for feeling judged: Only 30% of parents in Italy feel judged for the way their child/children behave, and 25% of parents in Spain feel judged for how they manage their child/children’s behaviour.

The judgement that parents perceive is real and not imagined. A similarly high proportion of non-parents say they judge parents.

Reflecting the high levels of judgement reported by parents, four in five non-parents (81%) across the 28 countries surveyed say they judge parents. This rises to nine in ten non-parents in South Africa (93%), Canada (90%), and the United States (89%). Countries where the smallest proportion of non-parents report judging parents are Germany (63%), South Korea (66%), Saudi Arabia (70%) and Russia (71%).
On average across the 28 countries surveyed just nine in ten non-parents (9%) say they judge parents’ very often’. Countries where the highest proportion of non-parents report judging parents’ very often’ are South Africa (23%), India (20%) and Turkey (19%). Countries where the smallest proportions of non-parents say they judge parents are the Netherlands (4%), South Korea (4%), Russia (3%) and China (2%).
The top reasons given by non-parents for judging parents relate to children’s behaviour – how parents are managing their child’s children’s behaviour (59%) and the way their child/children behave (57%). Non-parents in the United States are particularly to give these reasons (76% and 73% respectively).
Feeling judged has the potential to impact parents’ mental health, which evidence has shown to impair children’s development . Given these detrimental outcomes, feelings of judgement experienced by parents pose a real risk to children’s development.


About the survey
These are the results of a 28-market survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 23,004 adults aged 18-74 in Singapore, 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa and Turkey, 21-74 in Singapore and 16-74 in 22 other markets between 23 December 2020 and 8 January 2021.
The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.S., and 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and Turkey.
The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the U.S. can be taken as representative of their general adult population under the age of 75.
The samples in Brazil, Chile, mainland China, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these markets should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population.
The data is weighted so that each country’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data.
Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” or not stated responses.
The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on Ipsos’ use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website. The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.



The author(s)

  • Kelly Beaver Public Affairs, UK