Parenting Styles and Internalizing Symptoms in Adolescence: A Systematic Literature Review

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep 1;16(17):3192. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16173192.


A growing body of recent research has identified associations between various parenting practices and styles and internalizing problems among adolescents. However, the reported findings are inconsistent and the studies in question have been conducted from different theoretical backgrounds. The aim of this systematic review was to synthesize the literature on the association of parental socialization styles with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. To this end, we conducted a systematic search of the PsycInfo, Scopus, Pubmed, and Web of Science databases, covering literature published from 2010 to 2019. The search was restricted to peer-reviewed studies in English or Spanish. The results show that parental warmth, behavioural control, and autonomy granting are inversely related to internalizing symptoms in adolescents. Conversely, psychological control and harsh control by parents are positively associated with adolescent anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Although the associated effect sizes are only small or moderate, the results suggest that these variables should be taken into account when designing programmes aimed at promoting parenting styles conducive to the wellbeing of adolescents.

Keywords: adolescents; anxiety; depression; parenting practices and styles; suicidal ideation; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Behavior Control / psychology
  • Defense Mechanisms*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting*
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Socialization
  • Suicidal Ideation*