Influences of parenting on normal personality traits

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68 Scopus citations


There is a considerable literature linking aspects of experienced parenting to later personality disorders. Because dimensionally measured personality disorders are associated with variations in normal personality traits, it is important to understand the contribution of parenting experienced in childhood to later normal personality traits. In this report, 742 community-based individuals, subjects from the Hopkins Epidemiology of Personality Disorders Study, were assessed for normal personality traits, as measured by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and for parental behavior experienced as children, as measured by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). The PBI dimensions were significantly, but moderately, correlate with measures of normal personality, the strongest associations being with the NEO-PI-R factors, neuroticism and conscientiousness, and with the TCI factors, self-directedness and harm avoidance. Subjects who reported lower parental care and higher parental intrusiveness were more likely to be higher in neuroticism, lower in conscientiousness, lower in self-directedness, and higher in harm avoidance. Also, trends emerged suggesting both parent-specific and gender-specific differences in the relationship between the PBI dimensions and normal adult personality traits. As variations in normal personality traits are associated with dimensionally measured personality disorders, it is conceivable that the role of parenting in later personality disorder may be mediated by associations between parenting and normal personality traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 5 2002


  • Character
  • Child rearing
  • Personality disorders
  • Personality inventory
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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