Personality traits and parenting: neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experience as discriminative factors



This study used variable- and person-oriented approaches to examine the relationship between personality traits (at age 33) and parenting (at age 36) among 94 mothers and 78 fathers. The SEM revealed that Openness to Experience (O), low Neuroticism (N), and Extraversion (E) were related to parental nurturance; low O to parental restrictiveness; and low N to parental knowledge about the child's activities. Cluster analysis based on the three parenting factors yielded six gender-related parenting types with distinguishable personality profiles. Authoritative parents (mostly mothers) and emotionally involved parents (mostly fathers), who were high in nurturance and high to moderate in parental knowledge, were high in E and high to moderate in O. Authoritarian parents (mostly fathers) and emotionally detached parents (mostly mothers), who were low in nurturance, high to moderate in restrictiveness, and moderate to low in parental knowledge, were low in O and E. Permissive parents, who were low in restrictiveness and parental knowledge and moderate in nurturance, were high in N, E, and O. Engaged parents, who were high in nurturance, restrictiveness, and parental knowledge, were moderate in all personality traits. Agreeableness and Conscientiousness did not differ between the parenting types. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.