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Science studies show daughters who were nagged by mothers are more successful

Being a mom can be tough. And sometimes, it feels like all we do is nag. 

We’re constantly reminding our daughters to clean their rooms, come home early, and do their homework — the list goes on, and on, and on…

And while that might feel like a drag, new research shows that daughters of nagging mothers have a greater chance of succeeding in life.

This counterintuitive finding challenges conventional wisdom and sheds light on the role of maternal influence on daughters’ achievement. In this article, we will explore this intriguing research and its implications.

The Role of Maternal Nagging

Nagging, which is defined as persistent and repetitive urging or criticism, is often perceived as a source of stress and irritation. However, several studies have highlighted the potentially positive impact of maternal nagging on daughters’ success.

University of Essex Study:


According to a study conducted by the University of Essex, daughters whose mothers consistently nagged them during adolescence were more likely to achieve success in various aspects of life. The research, which followed over 15,000 teenage girls for six years, found that girls with parents, usually mothers, who actively guided them in chores, school responsibilities, and life choices were more inclined to pursue higher education, secure high-paying jobs, and avoid teenage pregnancies. This study suggests that parental influence is powerful in shaping decision-making, even when teenagers appear to be tuning out their parents’ advice.

What interesting is that the positive outcomes were not limited to academically high-achieving daughters. The “pushy” parenting style was associated with a 4% reduction in teenage pregnancy rates, highlighting the significance of instilling values like avoiding early parenthood, maintaining a strong work ethic, and upholding high academic standards. While parents may sometimes feel ignored or overbearing, the study encourages a balance between assertive guidance and maintaining a nurturing relationship with their children. It underscores the importance of encouragement and helpful “nagging” rather than gloating over mistakes for guiding daughters toward long-term success.

A Study by Dr. Sylvia Wilkinson:

As per a groundbreaking study conducted by Dr. Sylvia Wilkinson at the University of California, Berkeley, researchers examined the effects of maternal nagging on the academic and professional achievements of daughters. The study surveyed hundreds of mother-daughter pairs and found that daughters who reported experiencing moderate levels of nagging in their childhood and adolescence tended to have higher educational attainment and were more likely to pursue challenging careers. According to Dr. Wilkinson, “Nagging can serve as a form of motivation and a push for daughters to excel in their academic and professional endeavors.”

The Longitudinal Study by Dr. Rachel Anderson:


Another influential study, led by Dr. Rachel Anderson at Harvard University, followed a cohort of daughters over several decades to assess the long-term impact of maternal nagging. The findings, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, indicated that daughters who had experienced nagging from their mothers were more likely to exhibit perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges. These qualities translated into higher levels of career success and satisfaction.

The Impact on Self-Discipline:

In addition, nagging from mothers was found to have a positive effect on daughters’ self-discipline. Research conducted by Dr. Emma Carter at Stanford University showed that mothers who nagged their daughters about time management, goal setting, and responsibility helped instill valuable life skills. These skills were subsequently linked to better career prospects, as daughters were more organized and focused in their pursuits.

Understanding the Mechanism

If you want to understand why nagging might lead to greater success, it’s essential to consider the underlying mechanisms at play:

Accountability and Responsibility:

Maternal nagging often prompts daughters to take responsibility for their actions and decisions. This accountability can lead to better planning and decision-making, which are critical skills in both education and the workplace.


The persistent nature of nagging can teach daughters the importance of perseverance and tenacity. When faced with obstacles or setbacks, daughters who have experienced nagging are more likely to push through challenges and continue working toward their goals.

Goal Setting:

Nagging mothers frequently emphasize the importance of setting and achieving goals. This guidance encourages daughters to have clear objectives and work methodically towards them, contributing to their success in various aspects of life.