Volume 12

Parenting Style Experience and Young Adults’ Perceptions of Self and of Character Traits Related to Self-Esteem and Altruism

Sarah Lizio and Lindsay Lemere

This study was designed to examine the perceived parenting styles of adult children and how these styles effect levels of self-reported traits, particularly self-concept, self-esteem, and altruism. Participants included 104 college students who were randomly assigned to read one of four scenario conditions that varied by character sex and parenting styles, as well as character altruism. After reading their assigned scenarios, students evaluated the characters on measures of self-concept, self-esteem, and willingness to help. Participants also completed self-report measures regarding self-esteem and altruism. The results indicated that participants’ traits did not differ by parenting experiences but that characters depicted as from authoritative homes were perceived as more altruistic than characters whose parents depicted as authoritarian. This study demonstrates that the perceived differences of parental styles do not necessarily influence adult-children’s measures of self-esteem and altruism.

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