How Parenting Styles Relate to Attitudes Towards Child Mental Health in Parents

Kaylena Mann and Dr. Argero Zerr


Parenting styles have been shown to influence children’s outcomes including self-efficacy, children’s help-seeking behavior, and mental disorders, (e.g., Gonzalez, 2017; Maiuolo et al., 2019; Thurston et al., 2015), but limited research has been done relating to parents’ attitudes towards psychological services for their children. Mental health stigma serves as a significant barrier to help-seeking behaviors for parents (e.g., Banta et al., 2013; Turner et al., 2015), and authoritative parenting is associated with more positive outcomes (e.g., Carlo et al., 2019; Eun et al., 2018), but few studies have connected these two constructs. This study investigates parents’ stigma, help-seeking attitudes, and help-seeking intentions, while also analyzing parenting styles and parents’ upbringing. Specifically, we are questioning the relationship between parents’ own upbringing and their attitudes towards psychological service will be mediated by parents’ warmth and control (two constructs related to parenting style). We predict that authoritative parents will have the most positive attitudes, and neglectful parents will have the least positive attitudes. We also hypothesized that parents’ warmth and control will mediate the relationship between their own upbringing and their attitudes towards psychological services. Our sample included 187 caregivers of 2 to 17-year-olds, recruited from online parenting forums, social media, family services, and recreation centers in California. Caregivers responded to online survey questions using Qualtrics. Attitudes towards mental health were assessed using the Parental Attitudes Towards Psychological Services Inventory (PATPSI; Turner, 2012). Parenting styles were measured using the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (Robinson et al., 2001), and warmth/control was measured using an adapted version of the Parenting Opinions measure (Brown, Holden & Ashraf, 2018).

One Comment

Comments are closed.