Longitudinal associations between parenting and child Big Five personality traits

Mona Ayoub, Bo Zhang, Richard Göllner, Olivia E. Atherton, Ulrich Trautwein, Brent W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this research was to explore the relationships between four parenting dimensions (academic involvement, structure, cultural stimulation, and goals) and child personality development. Many theories, such as social learning, attachment theory, and the psychological resources principle assume that parenting practices influence child personality development. Most of past research on the associations between parenting and child Big Five traits specifically has used cross-sectional data. The few longitudinal studies that examined these associations found small relations between parenting and child personality. We extended this research by examining the long-term relations between four underexplored parenting dimensions and child Big Five personality traits using bivariate latent growth models in a large longitudinal dataset (N = 3,880). Results from growth models revealed a preponderance of null relations between these parenting measures and child personality, especially between changes in parenting and changes in child personality. In general, the observed associations between parenting and child Big Five personality were comparable in magnitude to the association between factors such as SES and birth order, and child personality-that is, small. The small associations between environmental factors and personality suggest that personality development in childhood and adolescence may be driven by multiple factors, each of which makes a small contribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29766
JournalCollabra: Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 18 2021


  • Big Five
  • Parenting
  • Personality
  • Personality Development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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