The relations between parents' Big Five personality factors and parenting: a meta-analytic review

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2009 Aug;97(2):351-62. doi: 10.1037/a0015823.


To investigate the association between Big Five personality factors and three dimensions of parenting-warmth, behavioral control, and autonomy support-the authors conducted meta-analyses using 5,853 parent-child dyads that were included in 30 studies. Effect sizes were significant and robust across mother and father reports and across assessment methods of parenting (self-report versus observations) but were generally small in magnitude. Higher levels of Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness and lower levels of Neuroticism were related to more warmth and behavioral control, whereas higher levels of Agreeableness and lower levels of Neuroticism were related to more autonomy support. Several factors moderated the relationship between specific personality dimensions and parenting: child and parental age, reliability of observational assessment of parenting behavior, and study design. Taken together, these results indicate that personality can be seen as an inner resource that affects parenting.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child Rearing / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*