Gender differences in recalled parental childrearing behaviors and adult self-esteem

Hope R. Conte, Robert Plutchik, Susan Picard, Louise Buck, T. Byram Karasu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A retrospective questionnaire study investigated gender differences in the relations between the self-reported self-esteem of 155 psychiatric adult outpatients and their recalled experience of their parents' behavior toward them as children. There were no significant sex differences in degree of self-esteem. However, it had a higher correlation to parenting variables for the men than for the women, with maternal predictor variables accounting for 36% and paternal predictors accounting for 32% of the variance in the men's self-esteem. Neither combined maternal nor combined paternal variables were significant predictors for women. For men, parental acceptance/autonomy was significantly and positively related and inconsistency negatively related to self-esteem. Paternal rejection but not maternal rejection was significantly associated with low self-esteem only for the women. The greater amount of variance explained by childrearing variables in the men's self-esteem scores was attributed to the earlier ago development and consequent increased individuation in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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