Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Elizabeth Hayden


More is known about contextual factors associated with parenting than associations between intrinsic characteristics of parents, namely personality, and parenting. The current study investigated associations between parent personality and parenting behaviours with known relevance for child outcomes. A community sample of 385 mothers of preschool-aged children completed self-report measures of personality traits. Informant reports and observer ratings of maternal personality were also obtained. Parenting was assessed observationally during a mother-child interaction in the home. Personality traits were associated with both positive and negative parenting. The magnitude of these associations was generally modest, with the strongest effects emerging for the trait of agreeableness. In addition, neuroticism and agreeableness interacted to predict parental hostility. Informant reports and observer ratings showed incremental value beyond self-report in the prediction of parenting. These results indicate that parent personality traits are meaningfully associated with parenting behaviours and that multimethod approaches contribute unique information in predicting parenting.