Authoritarian parenting may lower your child’s self-esteem

Ever wonder if your parenting style is affecting your child’s self-esteem? Members of the community have expressed interest in learning the science behind self-esteem. And so we interviewed an expert in this area – Jenny Kurman, PhD – who was happy to teach us a little about “explicit” and “implicit” self-esteem. But what exactly is the difference between these two types of self-esteem?

“Explicit self-esteem is the way the child consciously describes him/herself. Implicit self-esteem refers to automatic, somewhat unconscious self-regard.” – Jenny Kurman, PhD

Dr. Kurman is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Haifa University in Israel. She recently published new parenting research examining the link between parenting style and these two types of self-esteem. She collaborated on the research with Lily Rothschild-Yakar, Ruth Angel, and Miri Katz.

The researchers surveyed 43 children with ADHD and 35 children without ADHD. Self-esteem was assessed. The children also reported perceptions of their caregivers’ parenting style – authoritarian versus permissive.

So what did the data show? The key finding is that authoritarian parenting style is correlated with lower levels of implicit self-esteem among children with ADHD.

Much more parenting studies are needed to fully understand how parenting styles affect your child’s self-esteem. But for now, Kurman has a message for the community:

“Warmth and unconditional support is the most crucial factor for self-esteem of ADHD children. Setting boundaries, implied in authoritarian parenting, may challenge self-esteem of children with ADHD, especially at the implicit level.” – Jenny Kurman, PhD

Want to read the full publication? It is easily obtained here. Unfortunately, Open Access is not yet available.


Photo licensed under CC0 1.0

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