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Impact of Parenting Styles on Adolescents’ Self-Esteem and Internalization of Values

To analyze the association of parenting with adolescents’ outcomes, two orthogonal constructs of parenting have traditionally been considered: Demandingness and Responsiveness (Baumrind, 1989, 1991; Bersabé, Fuentes, & Motrico, 2001; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Musitu & García, 2004; Villalobos, Cruz, & Sánchez, 2004). Demandingness refers to the extent to which parents make control, supervision and maturity demands in their parenting. Whereas responsiveness refers to the extent to which parents show their children warmth and acceptance, give them support and reason with them. Based on these two dimensions, four parenting styles have been identified (Baumrind, 1991; Lamborn, Mounts, Steinberg, & Dornbusch, 1991; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Musitu & García, 2004; Steinberg, Lamborn, Darling, Mounts, & Dornbusch, 1994; Villalobos et al., 2004): authoritative (parents who are high on both demandingness and responsiveness), indulgent (parents who are low on demandingness and high on responsiveness), authoritarian (parents who are high on demandingness and low on responsiveness), and neglectful (parents who are low on both demandingness and responsiveness).

In this study, we examine the associations of parenting styles with adolescents’ self-esteem and internalization of values in a sample of Spanish adolescents. Both, internalization of social values and the development of the child’s self-esteem, are central objectives of parental socialization (see Grusec & Goodnow, 1994). Self-esteem has been one of the traditional measures of adolescent adjustment in parenting studies (e.g., Amato & Fowler, 2002; Barber, 1990; Barber, Chadwick, & Oerter, 1992; Cava, Musitu, & Murgui, 2006; Coopersmith, 1967; Felson & Zielinsky, 1989; Gecas & Schwalbe, 1986; Rudy & Grusec, 2006). However, with few exceptions (e.g., Aluja, del Barrio, & Garcia, 2005), the internalization of values as an outcome variable has not been purposely analyzed, even though different authors have stressed the importance of parenting styles in children’s internalization of social values (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994; Grusec, Goodnow, & Kuczynski, 2000; MacDonald, 1997; Rudy & Grusec, 2001). Internalization, referring to “taking over the values and attitudes of society as one’s own so that socially acceptable behavior is motivated not by anticipation of external consequences but by intrinsic or internal factors” (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994, p. 4) has been pointed out as the key of well-developed children (e.g., Baumrind, 1966, 1978; 1983; Lewis, 1981). Grusec and Goodnow suggest that internalization should be measured in terms of prosocial behavior—consideration for the feelings or needs of others—and moral standards— assessed, for instance, by resistance to temptation, reparation after deviation, evidence of guilt, and level of moral reasoning. Moreover, these authors recommend taking into account other variables of psychological adjustment, such as self-esteem, that are required for the internalization of values; according to them, low self-esteem can be an impediment to internalization because it “could lead to a reduction on the child’s part in standards for acceptable behavior and interfere with internalization” (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994, p. 17).

Considering the internalization of values in terms of prosocial behavior and moral standards, the present study focuses on the impact of parenting on Schwartz’s selftranscendence and conservation values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, 1990) in adolescents. These values are centered on consideration for others and acceptance of social norms. Self-transcendence values emphasize concern for the welfare and interests of others; they include universalism—referring to understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection of the welfare of all people and of nature—and benevolence—in reference to preserving and enhancing the welfare of people with whom one is in frequent personal contact. Conservation values emphasize order, harmony, self-restriction, and non-threatening relations; they include security—referring to safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self—, conformity— referring to restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms—, and tradition—meaning respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas provided by traditional culture or religion (Sagiv & Schwartz, 2000; Schwartz, 1994, 2005; Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, 1990).

Research on parent-adolescent relationships has consistently reported that adolescents from EuropeanAmerican families, raised in authoritative families in the United States, have higher psychosocial competence and lower psychological and behavioral dysfunctions than adolescents from authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful homes (Lamborn et al., 1991; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Steinberg et al., 1994). The results of these researches have confirmed that high levels of parental warmth, responsiveness, and involvement combined with high levels of strictness, foster optimal adjustment in Euro-American children, offering emotional support by means of responsiveness and establishing adequate guidelines and limits to control children’s behavior by means of demandingness.

However, parenting research has revealed some differences across cultures and ethnic groups (e.g., Chao, 1994; Wahler & Cerezo, 2005). For example, among African and Asian-American adolescents, no complete evidence has been found of the positive influence of authoritative parenting (Dornbusch, Ritter, Leiderman, Roberts, & Fraleigh, 1987; Steinberg, Dornbusch, & Brown, 1992). In fact, Chao (2001) has shown that Asian-American adolescents raised in authoritarian households do not do worse at school than adolescents raised in authoritative homes. Quoss and Zhao (1995) also found that authoritarian parenting—but not authoritative—predicts satisfaction with the parent-child relationship in Chinese children, whereas Dwairy, Achoui, Abouserie and Farah (2006) have found that in Arab societies, authoritarian parenting does not harm the adolescents’ mental health as it does in Western societies. Furthermore, other researches have found no differences between indulgent and authoritative parenting in the offspring’s outcomes in certain contexts and cultures. This is the case for Korean-American adolescents raised by authoritative fathers, who do not have better academic achievement than youths raised by indulgent fathers (Kim & Rhoner, 2002). Also in Mexico, Villalobos et al. (2004) have shown that adolescents from authoritative and indulgent families obtain higher scores than adolescents from neglectful families on diverse measures of competence and adjustment; but there were no differences between authoritative and indulgent parenting. Finally, in Italy and Brazil, studies measuring the impact of parenting on selfesteem have illustrated that adolescents from indulgent homes have similar or higher self-esteem than adolescents from authoritative households (Marchetti, 1997; Martínez, 2003; Musitu & Garcia, 2004).

To explain the cross-cultural discrepancies in the association between parental practices and adolescents’ outcomes, several authors have suggested that the meaning of socialization practices can differ depending of the cultural context (Chao, 1994; Grusec, Rudy, & Martini, 1997; Pels & De Haan, 2007; Rodd, 1996). For example, Rudy and Grusec (2001) indicated that strictness practices, which involve a hierarchical parent-child relationship, are linked with positive cognitions and affect in contexts that emphasize hierarchical relations and respect for authority. According to this perspective, parental strictness would not be effective in countries characterized by horizontal collectivism (Triandis, 1995, 2001), like Spain (Gouveia, Clemente, & Espinosa, 2003), where equalitarian relations, instead of hierarchical ones, are emphasized. On the contrary, high levels of reasoning, parental affection, acceptance, and involvement would be enough to obtain optimal adolescent adjustment in Spain, without the need of high levels of strictness.

The purpose of this study is to examine the relation between parenting styles and (a) adolescents’ self-esteem, appraised with five specific components—academic, social, emotional, family, and physical (Byrne & Shavelson, 1996; Shavelson, Hubner, & Stanton, 1976)—on the one hand, and (b) adolescents’ internalization of Schwartz’s values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, 1990) of self-transcendence— universalism and benevolence— and conservation—security, conformity and tradition—on the other hand. This purpose is important because the results of several studies have suggested that the beneficial impact of authoritative parenting observed in the United States is not confirmed in all cultures (e.g., Chao, 1994, 2001; Darling & Steinberg, 1993; Dornbusch et al., 1987; Dwairy et al., 2006; Kim & Rhoner, 2002; Musitu & García, 2004; Quoss & Zhao, 1995; Steinberg, Mounts, Lamborn, & Dornbusch, 1991).

As the Spanish culture is characterized by equalitarian relations (Gouveia et al., 2003), where strictness practices seem to not be effective (Mayseless, Scharf, & Sholt, 2003; Rudy & Grusec, 2001), and previous studies in Spain have shown, within a large sample of age, that adolescents from indulgent parents reach equal or higher scores in self-esteem than adolescents from authoritative parents (Musitu & García, 2004), we expect that adolescents of a younger age range who perceive their parents as indulgent would show higher or equal levels of self-esteem than would adolescents who perceive their parents as authoritative. Taking into account that low self-esteem has been theorized to interfere with internalization (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994), and that the internalization of values is also an indicator of adolescent adjustment (Feldman & Rosenthal, 1991; Grusec & Goodnow, 1994), we anticipate that Spanish adolescents from indulgent homes will give higher or similar priority to self-transcendence and conservation values than will adolescents who perceive their parents as authoritative.



Our sampling frame consisted of a complete list of all public (90%) and private (10%) centers —Spanish private schools financed by the government “centros concertados” were excluded to maximize the variance explained (Kerlinger, 1973)—” from middle-class backgrounds of a large metropolitan area in Spain with over one million inhabitants. We chose multistage cluster sampling because it provides a feasible sampling solution, given our available list of educational centers, by allowing us to randomly sample clusters. Kalton (1983) reported that if clusters are selected randomly, then the elements within the clusters (i.e., students) are similarly selected in a random method. A priori power analysis determined that 1424 participants were required to detect an unfavorable small effect size (f = .10) with a power of .90 (α = .05, 1 - β = .90) in F-test between the four parenting styles (Erdfelder, Faul, & Buchner, 1996).

To achieve the a priori-determined sample size of 1424 students, we contacted the director of each school using our ram-list of educational centers (two public centers refused to participate). We intentionally over-sampled, randomly selecting over 1650 potential participants who: (a) were Spanish, as were their parents and four grandparents; (b) lived in two-parent nuclear families, mother or primary female caregiver and father or primary male caregiver; (c) had received their parents’ permission to participate; and (d) were attending school at the time the research was done. A total of 1456 students completed the instruments (88% response rate). The power of any F-test between the four parenting styles (f = .10; α = .05) was .91 (Erdfelder et al., 1996). The sample came from eight public schools (89.1%) and two private schools. Of the sample, 54.3% were females and 45.7% males, age range was 13-16 years (M = 14.6 years, SD = 13.2 months).


Parental Socialization Scale (ESPA29; Musitu & García, 2001). Adolescents reported the frequency of several parental practices (fathers’ and mothers’ practices were asked about separately) in different situations with significant impact on the parent-child relationship in Western culture. Twentynine situations were sampled, 13 teenagers’ compliance situations (e.g., “If somebody comes over to visit and I behave nicely”) and 16 teenagers’ noncompliance situations (e.g., “If I break or ruin something at home”) to assess parental practices with a 4-point Likert-type scale (1 = never, 4 = always). In each of the 13 compliance situations, offspring had to rate the parenting practices of affection (“he/she shows affection”) and indifference (“he/she seems indifferent”). In each of the 16 noncompliance situations, offspring had to rate the parenting practices of dialogue (“he/she talks to me”), detachment (“it’s the same to him/her”), verbal scolding (“he/she scolds me”), physical punishment (“he/she spanks me”), and revoking privileges (“he/she takes something away from me”). The family score for the acceptance/involvement dimension was obtained by averaging the responses on affection, dialogue, indifference, and detachment practices of both father and mother (in the last two practices, the scores were inverted because they are inversely related to the dimension). The family score for the strictness/imposition dimension was obtained by averaging the responses on verbal scolding, physical punishment and revoking privileges practices of both the father and the mother. Hence, two dimensions measured family parental styles (see Lamborn et al., 1991; Steinberg et al., 1994) so that higher scores represent a greater sense of acceptance/involvement and strictness/imposition (highest score on the two scales = 4).

This scale was originally validated in Spain with a sample of almost 3,000 adolescents (Musitu & García, 2001) between the ages of 10 and 18 years (2,009 of whom were between 13-16 years of age) and was developed to specifically assess the four types of parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful (Marchetti, 1997; Martínez, Musitu, García, & Camino, 2003; Musitu & García, 2001, 2004). Following the examples of Lamborn et al. (1991) and Steinberg et al. (1994), the four parenting categories (authoritative, indulgent, authoritarian, and neglectful) are defined by trichotomizing the sample with a tertile split on each dimension (acceptance/involvement and strictness/imposition) and examining the two variables simultaneously. Research indicates that similar results are obtained by dichotomizing the sample using median split procedures (see Chao, 2001; Kremers, Brug, de Vries, & Engels, 2003) and Musitu and García (2001) suggest splitting the sample after controlling the differences for sex and age. Furthermore, in the ESPA29, the parenting styles were evaluated from both contextual (Darling & Steinberg, 1993) and situational (Smetana, 1995) perspectives where a total of 232 questions were asked, 116 for each parent. The factorial structure of the instrument was confirmed in various studies (Llinares, 1998; Musitu & García, 2001). Cronbach’s alpha for all 232 items was α = .96; and for each dimension: acceptance/involvement, α = .97, and strictness/imposition, α = .96; and for each subscale: affection, α = .96; indifference, α = .95; dialogue, α = .95; detachment, α = .90; verbal scolding, α = .94; physical punishment, α = .93; and revoking privileges, α = .96.

Outcome variables. Adolescents’ personal adjustment was measured with the Multidimensional Self-Esteem Scale (AF5; García & Musitu, 1999). This 30-item scale assesses self-esteem in five domains: academic (e.g., “I do my homework well”), social (e.g., “I make friends easily”), emotional (e.g., reverse scored, “Many things make me nervous”), family (e.g., “I feel that my parents love me”), and physical (e.g., “I take good care of my physical health”). Each domain is measured with 6 items (99-point scale); modifications were made to obtain domain scores ranging from .1 to 9.99 (García & Musitu, 1999). The factorial structure of the instrument was confirmed both with exploratory (García & Musitu, 1999, Martínez, 2003) and confirmatory (García, Musitu, & Veiga, 2006; Tomás & Oliver, 2004) factor analyses, and no method effect appears to be associated with negatively worded items (Tomás & Oliver, 2004).

The AF5 was previously validated with a sample of 6,500 Spanish subjects (García & Musitu, 1999) and is more comprehensive than the tools used by most of the studies. For example, the shorter Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965) contains only 10 or 15 items and it have not been normed in Spain (Gual, Pérez-Gaspar, Martínez-Gonzélez, Lahortiga, de Irala-Estevez, & CerveraEnguix, 2002; Martínez-González, Gual, Lahortiga, Alonso, de Irala-Estevez, & Cervera, 2003). In the AF5 scale, selfesteem is understood as multidimensional, hierarchically ordered, and increasingly differentiated with age based on the Shavelson and colleagues’ theoretical model (Byrne & Shavelson, 1996; Shavelson et al., 1976). Cronbach’s alpha for all items was .83 and for each factor, it was: academic, α = .90; social, α =.74; emotional, α =.73; family, α =.81; and physical, α =.76.

Adolescents’ values of self-transcendence (universalism and benevolence) and conservation (tradition, conformity, and security) were measured with the Schwartz (1992) Value Inventory, adapted from Struch, Schwartz, and van der Kloot, (2002). Each of the 27 items, measuring self-transcendence and conservation values, consists of one single value accompanied by a short descriptive phrase. The participants rated the importance of each value as a guiding principle in their life using a 99-point rating scale coded from 1 (opposed to my values) to 99 (of supreme importance). The average score for the items in the standard indexes was computed to measure the priority given to each of the five motivational types of values used in this study. Modifications were made to obtain scored indexes ranging from .1 to 9.99. Cronbach’s alpha for the 27 items was .87, and for the value indexes as follows: universalism, α = .74; benevolence, α = .73; conformity, α = .69; tradition, α = .44; and security, α = .50. These reliabilities were within the range of variation commonly observed in these value types (e.g., Roccas, Sagiv, Schwartz, & Knafo, 2002). Schwartz’s Values Inventory was meant to test the Theory of Human Values (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987) in more than 200 samples from over 60 countries (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz & Sagiv, 1995). All of the 10 value types have also been used to explain a wide range of attitudes and behaviors in many countries (Schwartz & Bardi, 2001).

Design and Data Analysis

Design. We used a block design with three demographic controls (adolescents’ gender, age, and type of school). These control variables are traditionally used in parenting studies (Lamborn et al., 1991; Steinberg et al., 1992; Steinberg et al., 1994) and have been considered possible moderating variables of parenting effects (e.g., Aunola, Stattin, & Nurmi, 2000; Kelley, Power, & Wimbush, 1992). Furthermore, these three control variables function to block residual variance (see García, Frías, & Pascual, 1999; Maxwell & Delaney, 1990) increasing the F-test power in the analyses of the differences in adolescents’ self-esteem and value priorities between the four parenting categories, the objective of this investigation. The first assumption of the block design is there should be no-interaction of parenting styles with the control variables (adolescents’ gender, age, and type of school) in predicting adolescents’ outcomes (e.g., Amato & Fowler, 2002; Aunola, et al., 2000; Lamborn et al., 1991; Steinberg et al., 1994). Any violation of this assumption would question the status of the control variables, because the relation between parenting styles and the outcome variables would be mediated by the control variables. The second assumption of the block design is that the three demographic controls must be related to the two clusters of outcome variables: self-esteem and value priorities of the adolescents. Violation of this assumption would only affect the statistical power of the F-test in the differential analyses between the four parenting categories, because the control variables would not reduce the error term.

In relation to the AF5 self-esteem measure, research has shown that boys tend to have higher emotional and physical self-esteem than girls (Garaigordobil, Durá, & Pérez, 2005; García & Musitu, 1999), resulting from a higher prevalence of emotional and physical-image problems in women (e.g., Gual et al., 2002; Martínez-González, et al., 2003; Rothenberg, 1997). However, academic self-esteem tends to be higher in girls (Garaigordobil et al., 2005), consistent with women’s current higher academic achievement (García & Musitu, 1999). Previous research found no differences in adolescents’ self-esteem between the age groups analyzed in this study (García & Musitu, 1999), or between adolescents from public or private schools (García & Musitu, 1999; Musitu & García, 2001). In relation to the value priorities analyzed in this study, Insa (2003) has shown that, in Spain, according to gender referential schemes, girls give higher priority to self-transcendence values than did boys. Furthermore, it has been shown that priority given to selftranscendence and tradition values descends in midadolescence because of the increase in priority given to opposite values such as autonomy, independence, and openness (Grotevant & Cooper, 1998; Insa, 2003). Finally, with respect to type of school, Molpeceres (1996) indicated that students from more traditional private centers give higher priority to conservation values.

Data Analysis. A four-way (Parenting style × Gender × Age × Type of school) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted for each of the two clusters of related outcome variables (self-esteem dimensions and selftranscendence and conservation value priorities), with parenting style (authoritative, indulgent, authoritarian vs. neglectful), gender (girls vs. boys), age (13-14 vs. 15-16 years old), and type of school (public vs. private) as independent variables. As research has shown, our expectation was that the results would vary as a function of parenting style and of the adolescents’ gender, age and type of school (Insa, 2003; Musitu & García, 1999), but no interactions were expected with parenting style (Amato & Fowler, 2002; Aunola et al., 2000; Lamborn et al., 1991; Steinberg et al., 1994). Univariate F follow-up tests were conducted within the outcome clusters that had multivariate significant overall differences, and significant results on the univariate tests were followed with Bonferroni’s comparisons between all possible pairs of means. Given our primary interest in parenting style, we did not focus on the effects of gender, age, or type of school. When such effects were statistically significant, however, we noted them.


The results support the hypothesis of the study: adolescents from indulgent families achieve the same or higher scores in self-esteem and internalization of selftranscendence and conservation values than adolescents from authoritative families. The findings confirm and extend previous research in Spain (Musitu & García, 2004); the positive influence of indulgent parenting on adolescents’ self-esteem can be generalized to the internalization of values in adolescents. In the two self-esteem dimensions (academic and family) that are related to parenting styles in the study, adolescents from indulgent parents show higher scores than adolescents from authoritative parents. The fact that, in the present study, parenting only relates with two self-esteem dimensions could be due to the age range analyzed. As selfesteem increasingly differentiates with age (Byrne & Shavelson, 1996; Shavelson et al., 1976), it is possible that the influence of parenting on self-esteem would be easier to appreciate with an older age range. On the other hand, we did not find differences between the priority given by adolescents from authoritative and indulgent parents to any of the self-transcendence and conservation values.

This result suggests that the parents’ use of acceptance/ involvement is related to the highest internalization of values: adolescents from authoritative and indulgent households (both characterized by high acceptance/involvement) give higher priority to the values analyzed, whereas adolescents from authoritarian and neglectful parents (both characterized by low acceptance/involvement) generally assign the lowest priority to these values. Although authoritative parenting is also characterized by a high level of strictness/imposition and indulgent parenting is characterized by low levels of strictness/imposition, it seems that the use of these practices –strictness and imposition– is not related with either more or less internalization of self-transcendence and conservation values of Spanish’ adolescents. In consequence, it seems that the internalization of these social values by adolescents is primarily defined by the degree of acceptance/involvement utilized by the parents. However, adolescents’ academic and family selfesteem appears to be negatively influenced by the degree of strictness/imposition utilized by parents. Although adolescents from indulgent and authoritative parents (both characterized by high use of acceptance/involvement) have the highest scores in these self-esteem dimensions, adolescents from authoritative parents (who are also characterized by high levels of strictness/imposition) have lower academic and family selfesteem than adolescents from indulgent parents (whose use of strictness/imposition is low). Furthermore, adolescents from authoritarian parents (characterized by low acceptance/ involvement and high strictness/imposition) obtain the worst results.

Moreover, we confirmed that the association of parenting styles with self-esteem and internalization of values is not influenced by the control variables of the study (adolescents’ gender, age, and type of school). We also confirmed that the relationship of these demographic variables with the self-esteem and the value priorities of Spanish adolescents is consistent with the results reported in the literature (Garaigordobil et al., 2005; García & Musitu, 1999; Grotevant & Cooper, 1998; Insa, 2003; Molpeceres, 1996).

In short, the study shows that the association between authoritative parenting and optimum outcomes in offspring reported in studies on European-American families in the United States, is not confirmed in Spanish adolescents when self-esteem or interiorization of self-transcendence and conservation values are used as outcome variables. On the contrary, the results support studies that question the generalization of the association between authoritative parenting and optimum adjustment to any ethnic or cultural context (Dornbusch et al., 1987; Chao, 2001; Kim & Rhoner, 2002; Steinberg et al., 1991). Particularly, the present study reinforces previous research in Spain (Musitu & García, 2004) and in some countries such as Italy (Marchetti, 1997), Mexico (Villalobos et al., 2004), and Brazil (Martínez et al., 2003; Martínez, García, & Yubero, 2007), which has found that, in these cultures, indulgent parenting is associated with the same or better adolescent outcomes than authoritative parenting.

To explain why authoritative parenting is not associated with better outcomes in adolescents in all cultural-ethnic contexts, it has been argued that some parenting practices can have different meanings depending on the characteristics of the culture (Chao, 2001) and can be associated with different parenting objectives (Rao, McHale, & Pearson, 2003). Therefore, the impact of parenting styles on offspring can vary in different cultures. In this sense, it has been argued that authoritarian practices have a positive impact on collectivistic Asiatic cultures because, in those contexts, strict discipline is understood as beneficial for the children (Grusec et al., 1997) and because both parents and children view authoritarian practices as an organizational strategy that fosters harmony within the family and tries to ensure children’s morals (Chao 1994; Ho, 1989). On the other hand, in Spain, Italy, and Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Brazil, it seems that more emphasis is placed on the use of affection, acceptance, and involvement in children’s socialization (Musitu & García, 2004; Villalobos et al., 2004). Furthermore, Spain has been characterized as a horizontal collectivist country (Gouveia et al., 2003). In contrast to vertical individualist (e.g., United States) and vertical collectivistic (e.g., some Asiatic countries) cultures, which are based on hierarchical relations, in horizontal collectivist cultures, equalitarian relations are emphasized (Triandis, 1995, 2001). As Rudy and Grusec (2001) pointed out, strict practices seem to be perceived in a negative way in cultures that are not based on hierarchical relationships. As a result, strictness practices, which involve a hierarchical parentchild relationship, do not seem to have a positive influence on the socialization of offspring in Spain, whereas practices such as affection, reasoning, acceptance, and involvement are positively related to adolescents’ outcomes.

This research is an important contribution to parenting studies because it shows that the association of authoritative parenting with positive developmental outcomes, observed in the United States on European-American families, cannot be fully generalized to the Spanish cultural context. Furthermore, we point out some specific characteristics of the Spanish culture that can explain the relations between parenting styles and adolescent’s outcomes in Spain. However, further examination of the meaning of parenting styles and their association with different outcomes of the adolescent in Spain is warranted in order to increase knowledge of the link between parenting and adolescent adjustment in this country. Finally, with regards to the methodology employed in this study, two considerations should be taken into account. First, the study was a crosssectional one that did not provide the possibility to test causal hypotheses. Therefore, in the absence of longitudinal or experimental data, these findings must be viewed as preliminary. Second, results may have been influenced by the fact that the teenagers reported their parents’ behavior, even though some authors in parenting research have found similar results when parents carried out the assessment themselves (Aunola et al., 2000; Kim, 2001). In any case, it is clear that the relationship between parenting styles and adolescent outcomes presents cultural differences that will need to be further taken into consideration in future research.


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