Adolescent Perceptions of Parenting Styles in Sweden, Italy and Greece: An Exploratory Study

Maria Giulia Olivari, Elisabeth Hertfelt Wahn, Katerina Maridaki-Kassotaki, Katerina Antonopoulou, Emanuela Confalonieri


Comparative research on parenting styles among Nordic and Mediterranean countries is still missing, despite the increasing number of studies on parenting styles in adolescence. This study explores similarities and differences in adolescents’ retrospective perceptions of parenting styles, for both parents, in Sweden, Italy and Greece, using the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire. In particular, it examines the relation between parental role, adolescent gender, country of origin, SES and these perceptions. Swedish, Italian and Greek adolescents (N = 702; 30.9% Swedish, 39.6% Italian and 29.5% Greek) participated in the study. To test the principal effects three mixed 2(parent; mother and father)*2(gender; girl and boy)*3(countries; Sweden, Italy and Greece)*3(SES; low, medium and high) ANOVAs were conducted separately for each parenting style. To verify the interaction effects, a mixed 2(parent; mother and father)*3(countries; Sweden, Italy and Greece)*3(SES; low, medium and high) ANOVA was tested on authoritative style. Regarding authoritarian and permissive two mixed 2(parent; mother and father)*2(gender; girl and boy)*3(countries; Sweden, Italy and Greece) ANOVAs were tested. Mothers, as compared to fathers, were perceived as more authoritative, authoritarian and permissive. Moreover, boys perceived their parents as more authoritarian and more permissive than girls. Swedish parents were perceived as significantly less authoritarian than Italian and Greek parents and more permissive than Italian parents; Greek parents were perceived as less authoritarian and more permissive than Italian parents. The study provides an interesting contribution to parenting styles literature, showing how country legislation concerning family matters and SES are related the perception of parenting behaviours.


adolescents; parenting styles; PSDQ; country comparison; culture

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