The Impact of Parental Styles on the Development of Psychological Complaints


  • Daniela Rocha Lopes
  • Kees van Putten
  • Peter Paul Moormann


The main aim of the present study was to test Rogers’ theory, stating that parental styles characterized by unconditional positive regard (UPR) promote healthier adults than parental styles characterized by conditional regard (CR). For both caregivers CR was found to be associated with significantly higher scores on psychological complaints than UPR (on nearly all SCL-90 scales and the SCL-total score), even when controlling for gender. Although lack of emotional warmth by the father and harsh discipline by the mother were significant predictors of SCL-90-Total (indicating state neuroticism) it should be noted that both variables only explained a small amount of the total variance. Empirical evidence was found for Rogers’ theory. Others factors than merely emotional warmth and discipline play a role in the etiology of state neuroticism. For future research it is therefore recommended to include other factors, such as daily worries, temperament, and alexithymia