Self and Nature: Parental Socialization, Self-Esteem, and Environmental Values in Spanish Adolescents

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 25;17(10):3732. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103732.


Emergent research seriously questions the use of parental strictness as the best parenting strategy in all cultural contexts. Moreover, previous research on environmental socialization offers inconsistent findings about which specific parenting practices would be the most appropriate for environmental socialization. The present paper aims to examine parents' contribution (i.e., authoritative, indulgent, authoritarian, and neglectful) to adolescents' self-esteem and internalization of environmental values. Participants were 308 Spanish adolescents with 171 females (55.5%), between 12 and 17 years old. The four parenting styles were defined using measures of parental warmth and strictness. Self-esteem was captured with global and multidimensional measures. Internalization of environmental values was evaluated by measuring the priority given to biospheric values. Results revealed a consistent pattern between parenting styles and adolescent self-esteem and internalization of environmental values. Overall, adolescents from homes characterized by parental warmth (i.e., indulgent and authoritative) have higher self-esteem and greater internalization of environmental values than their counterparts. These findings clearly contrast with those obtained in other cultural contexts where parental strictness is essential in achieving well-adjusted children with optimal psychosocial development.

Keywords: Spain; biospheric values; cultural context; environmental values; parental socialization; parental strictness; parental warmth; parenting; self-esteem.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting
  • Self Concept*
  • Socialization*
  • Spain