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Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 463–470 | Cite as

Perceived parental behaviour, self-esteem and happiness

  • A. Furnham
  • H. Cheng
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Background: This study set out to determine to what extent recalled parental rearing styles (authoritarian, authoritativeness, permissiveness), personality (extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism, lie), and self-esteem predicted self-rated happiness in a normal, non-clinical, population of young people in their late teens and early 20s. Methods: Each participant completed a few questionnaires: the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (revised), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Parental Authority Questionnaire and the Oxford Happiness Inventory. It was predicted that sex, extraversion, neuroticism, self-esteem and both maternal and paternal authoritativeness would be significant predictors of happiness. Results: Regressional and path analysis showed self-esteem to be the most dominant and powerful predictor of happiness. The effect of sex on happiness was moderated by neuroticism, which related to self-esteem, which directly influenced happiness. Stability, extraversion and maternal authoritativeness were significant predictors of self-esteem accounting for one-third of the variance. Conclusion: The results are considered in terms of the distinct literature on the relation between personality and happiness and on the relation between parental styles and self-esteem. Self-esteem was both a direct and a moderator variable for young people's self-reported happiness. Extraversion had both direct and indirect predictive power of happiness, whereas neuroticism predicted happiness mediating through self-esteem. Maternal authoritativeness was the only direct predictor of happiness when paternal and maternal rearing styles were examined together, suggesting that a reasonable discipline exercised by mothers towards their children was particularly beneficial in enhancing the off-springs' self-esteem.

Keywords

Parental Behaviour Parental Style Personality Questionnaire Parental Authority Late Teen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Furnham
    • 1
  • H. Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1, UK e-mail: a.furnham@ucl.ac.ukGB

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