Mama Mach and Papa Mach: Parental Machiavellianism in Relation to Dyadic Coparenting and Adolescents’ Perception of Parental Behaviour


  • András Láng


Parental personality is a main contributor to parenting outcomes. However, research on parental personality and parenting or coparenting behaviour is scarce. These few studies showed that disagreeableness and neuroticism are consequently related to negative parenting outcomes. Machiavellianism is an antagonistic and socially aversive personality trait. Machiavellianism has been linked to unfavourable outcomes in several different types of relationships (e.g., romantic relationships, workplace relationships). Using self-report measures, I investigated the association between parental Machiavellianism, adolescents’ perceptions of parenting behaviour, and parent reported coparenting in a sample of 98 families raising adolescents. According to the results, Machiavellianism was positively related to adolescents’ perceptions of rejecting and overprotective parenting behaviour in mothers. With regard to coparenting, fathers’ Machiavellianism had a negative effect both on their own and on their spouses’ reports of coparenting quality. Differences between fathers’ and mothers’ results are discussed with regard to their functions in the parent-child interaction and in the spousal dyad.