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01-02-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2014

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2014

The Impact of Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive Parenting Styles on Children’s Later Mental Health in Japan: Focusing on Parent and Child Gender

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2014
Masayo Uji, Ayuko Sakamoto, Keiichiro Adachi, Toshinori Kitamura


Few studies in Japan have examined whether children’s later mental health is influenced by the way parental authority is exercised, specifically with a focus on gender. Our main purposes of this study were to confirm the three-factor structure of the Japanese version of the Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) and to verify its reliability and validity. We then used structural equation modeling to examine whether children’s later mental health was influenced by parents’ authoritative, permissive, and authoritarian parenting. The subcategories included in the Japanese version of the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure were chosen as mental health indices. A total of 1,320 people in Japan, including company employees, university students, and hospital staff members, were asked to recall and evaluate the parenting they received and to report on their current mental health. Confirmatory factor analyses verified the three-factor structure of the Japanese version of the PAQ, with a reduction in the number of items from the original version. The respondents, regardless of gender, evaluated their mothers as having been more authoritative than their fathers. Concerning the impact of parenting styles on respondents’ later mental health, both maternal and paternal authoritarian parenting styles worsened respondents’ later mental health, including symptomatic problems, risk to self and others, life functioning, and psychological well-being. Both maternal and paternal authoritative parenting had a beneficial impact on respondents’ later mental health. Simultaneous analyses of multi-groups demonstrated that the nature of these influences did not vary with respondent gender. We present the above results in detail, and discuss them from psycho-socio-cultural viewpoints.

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