An Evaluation of How Parenting Practices Affect One’s Self-Esteem

Abubakar Tijjani T.

Department of Mass Communication, Kampala International University Uganda


Research has shown that parenting styles significantly impact children’s and adolescents’ development, as the family is the primary socializing agency. Self-esteem, a self-assessment of one’s self-worth, has been extensively researched and linked to the mental, psychological, and emotional development of children. There is no universally best parenting style, as culture and individual characteristics differ. In Western cultures, self-esteem is consistently negatively correlated with parenting styles characterized by low acceptance and high protectiveness. Variations exist in which parenting styles lead to the highest levels of self-esteem. This paper reviews the impact of parenting style on self-esteem.

Keywords:  Impact, Children, Parenting Style, Self Esteems


It indicates that parenting practices have a direct impact on children’s and teenagers’ growth and development, including their educational progress and general health and wellbeing. By treating children’s emotional, behavioral, and psychological issues, parenting style appears to have an influence on how well children learn. Self-esteem also appears to be an important contribution to children’s and teenagers’ learning success. The responsibility of caring for and raising children requires devotion and enthusiasm. It is the culmination of a number of distinct individual and group actions that molds children’s lives by having an impact on their personality development, educational achievement, and failure [1]. Parenting style, on the other hand, shows the emotional context in which parents are raising their children [2]. Furthermore, a parenting style is made up of two key components: the responsiveness and the demandingness of the parent. These two components result in a typology of four parenting styles: indulgent, authoritarian, authoritative, and uninvolved.

Parents that are indulgent appear to be flexible and receptive to their kids. They allow their kids to exercise significant self-control and show compassion for them by avoiding arguments [3]. The authoritarian parents, on the other hand, come out as demanding and directive rather than receptive. They provide their kids an environment that is too tight for open communication. Children typically report having little trust in and freedom from their parents [4]. Such parents appear to be status sensitive and want their children to follow their instructions without question [5]. They provide their kids prepared and desired situations where they are required to abide by their regulations. Because it has a good impact on Arabian children’s mental health compared to western liberal countries, where the scenario would be the opposite, an authoritarian parenting style is valued in Arab society as opposed to western civilizations [6]. According to [7], parental engagement in a child’s upbringing is essential. According to [8], mother engagement fosters and maintains intrinsic drive for learning, and encouragement moves children toward mastery while fostering perseverance, curiosity, and task orientation. Parents who aren’t participating seem uninterested in their kids’ education. They are extremely unresponsive and demanding, which leads to parents that are both inattentive and rejecting of their children. However, all three parenting philosophies, with the exception of uninvolved, are used by the majority of parents [4]. Children’s self-esteem and parenting practices are linked, and the former is thought to have a big impact on the latter. In light of this, this essay seeks to examine how parenting practices affect self-esteem.     

Self-esteem is a general assessment or review of one’s own meanings. It may be seen in “beliefs and emotions, including feelings of despair, pride, and shame, among others.” Academic performance is considered to be the heart of this factor, which is claimed to be a key predictor of an individual’s success or failure in life. It may be distinct in one particular way or universal [9]. It prepares children for the future by assisting them in dealing with difficult circumstances and issues [10]. It has a favorable relationship with people’s tasks and successes [11]. As opposed to people with low self-esteem, those with greater levels of self-esteem are often driven to finish even a challenging activity [12]. It has often been found that people perform better when they are happy within. As a result, having a healthy sense of self-worth is essential for inspiring people to work more, and in youngsters, it has a significant impact on how well they learn. Success gives people hope for the future and alleviates anxieties about life and death [13]. Self-esteem was demonstrated to be a significant predictor of academic achievement by [14], who also demonstrated that guys who joked around with girls had lower levels of self-esteem. The victimized girls were negatively impacted by the boys’ mocking behavior as they had low self-esteem and subpar academic results. [15] assert that self-esteem is a more powerful predictor of academic performance and that it is particularly important for male students. Parenting practices have a significant impact on how well their kids perform academically. According to [16], parental participation encourages children and adolescents to study, which leads to academic achievement. According to [17], family relationships and the educational environment have a higher influence on students’ academic performance, motivation, and self-competence. It was clear that having a strict, authoritarian parenting style improved students’ academic achievement but decreased their motivation, self-esteem, and social skills. Less accomplishment was shown by children raised by demanding and responsive authoritative parenting styles compared to students raised by authoritarian parents. According to a different study, parents’ engagement improved their kids’ performance. Numerous studies [18], have documented the effects of educated parents on their children’s academic conduct at various grade levels. According to [19] study, kids performed better socially when their parents had more social capital. [20] claim that having a high sense of self boosts good memories, which leads to greater success. The findings indicated that compared to their peers who had poor self-esteem and bad memories, the girl participants had greater levels of good memories and self-esteem, which led to increased social and academic efficiency. High self-esteem makes it easier for people to adopt and sustain habits in a variety of settings that promote wellbeing in later life. Compared to neglectful parents, authoritative parents want their kids to adjust and do better in school, this approach helps pupils do better academically. According to [21], children who have greater levels of self-esteem are better able to adapt to life in schools and develop their personalities. Additionally, there is a correlation between high self-esteem and an authoritative parenting style that encourages adolescents to participate in more competent and sociable activities. The kids who are raised by permissive parents, however, lack social skills and have low self-esteem.


Young children’s primary human interaction comes from their parents, and these formative years are when they are most impressionable. According to [22], a child’s core personality and self-esteem are typically created within the first five years of life. He continues by saying that the family serves as both the foundation for socialization and the child’s early cues of acceptance, love, and merit. Parents typically strive to raise their children in the greatest possible manner. Sometimes, they are inspired by their own parenting experiences as children or by advice from parenting experts. In the 1940s, Speck was one of the top experts on child parenting, advocating a more indulgent or lenient approach. However, by the 1960s, he had altered his mind and advocated for stricter discipline. As a result, ways to raising children have swung from one extreme to the other, from authority-based parenting, in which parents exercise entire control and are strict disciplinarians, to child-centered approaches, in which the wants and whims of the kid come first. Recently, a democratic or assertive parenting style has gained popularity. Baumrind conducted a great deal of parenting research in the 1960s, and as a result of her studies, she came up with the concepts of the three parenting philosophies of authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive: a) The authoritative approach, which combines relatively hard management with unwavering esteem for the kid and acceptance of their behavior within specified bounds. Using rigid rules that the parents have established to mold the behavior of the kid, imposing their will on the child without any negotiation, and thinking that the parent is always right are examples of authoritarian parenting. Parents that choose a permissive approach are warm and give their kids a lot of liberty while exercising minimal control over them. Instead of being actively involved in this process, permissive parents let their kids create their own behavior. Given that her classification of parental behaviors is still in use today and is widely recognized and accepted, Baurnrind appears to have established the standard. However, some parents might not necessarily fit into these styles.

Styles of parenting and self-esteem

There is no one optimal parenting technique that applies to all cultures because everyone has a different upbringing and personality. Self-esteem has been shown to be consistently adversely connected in Western cultures with parenting characterized by high levels of overprotectiveness and low levels of acceptance. This cold-hearted control is a hallmark of authoritarianism, and the parenting approach is assumed to be linked to social awkwardness and poor communication abilities. This parenting approach may be preferred in traditional collectivist societies (like Nigeria), and it is not believed to have a detrimental effect on self-esteem. [23], According to research on Japanese college students, authoritarian parenting styles that are warm and loving may be universally important for children’s psychological wellbeing in later life. The study’s findings also imply that bad parenting, such as lack of warmth and caring from parents, is strongly linked to low levels of life satisfaction and self-esteem, which may result in poor psychological wellbeing. According to research, children who experience an authoritarian parenting style are more likely to experience anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression. In line with this, [24] noted that adolescents who receive authoritative treatment develop more social maturity and independence when compared to their classmates.

Young individuals who experienced an authoritative parenting style have stronger social development and self-esteem than children raised in other parenting styles, according to [4]. In a similar vein, authoritative parenting has been repeatedly linked to favorable cognitive, emotional, and social results, according to [25]. On the other hand, permissive parenting is linked to lack of self-control and social inadequacy. Which parenting approaches result in the highest levels of self-esteem vary. Children with indulgent parents had the highest levels of self-esteem, whereas those of authoritarian parents had the lowest levels, according to [26] research. Both children of indulgent and domineering parents had the highest levels of self-esteem, according to [26] research. It is difficult to determine which parenting approach is the most effective in fostering the development of self-esteem because of these variances in the results. Parenting practices that are caring and helpful, according to [27], may help kids feel more confident. In terms of parenting styles, children who felt their parents were too protective (authoritarian) experienced negative consequences, whereas those who felt their parents were caring (authoritative and permissive) saw favorable effects on their self-esteem. Additionally, [27] found that positive love, wrath, and rejection were adversely connected with self-esteem whereas authoritative and permissive emotional warmth positively correlated with better self-esteem. According to [28], Nigerian parenting practices integrate all parenting philosophies since there is a strong focus on obedience and following rules set by parents. According to the researcher, this was accompanied by communication between parties, affection, caring, and response. The majority of parents want the best for their kids, but it’s possible that kids don’t experience or view parenting the way their parents do. Therefore, rather than the actual parenting style, children’s impression may be more important to their wellbeing. This suggests that an individual’s subjective assessment or impression of their parents’ parenting style or pattern may have an impact on their self-esteem development to the extent and in the manner in which they interpret the behavior.


Parenting styles significantly impact children’s and adolescents’ development, as the family is the primary socializing agency. Research has shown a strong link between parenting styles and children’s mental, psychological, and emotional development. Self-esteem, an assessment of one’s self-worth, is influenced by various parenting styles. There is no universally best parenting style, as culture and individual characteristics vary. In Western cultures, self-esteem is consistently negatively correlated with parenting styles with low acceptance and high protectiveness. Variations exist in which parenting styles lead to the highest levels of self-esteem. However, education principles suggest that students need good academic self-esteem for success. School counselors should assist students in fostering positive self-esteem, which can be enhanced by teaching good study habits and self-management skills.


  1. Paulson, S. E. (1994). Relations of parenting style and parental involvement with ninth-grade students’ achievement. Journal of Early Adolescence,14, 250-267.
  2. Darling, ,   &   Steinberg,   L.   (1993). Parenting   style   as   context:   An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 113(3), 487-496.
  3. Baumrind,   (1991).  The  influence  of  parenting  style  on  adolescent competence  and  substance  use. Journal  of  Early  Adolescence,11, 56–95.
  4. Maccoby,   E.,  Martin,  J.  A.  (1983).  Socialization in the context of the family:  Parent-child  interaction. In  Handbook  of  child  psychology, New York. Wiley
  5. Grolnick,   S.,  Ryan,  R.  M.,  &  Deci,  E.  L.  (1991).  Inner  resources  for school  achievement:    Motivational  mediators  of  children’s perceptions of their parents. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 508–517.
  6. Dwairy, ,  Achoui,  M.,  Abouserfe,  R.,  &  Farah,  A.  (2006).  Parenting styles,  individuation,  and  mental  health  of  Arab  adolescents: A third  cross  regional  research  study. Journal  of  Cross-Cultural Psychology, 37, 262-272
  7. Juang, P.,   &   Silbereisen,   R.   K.   (2002).   The   relationship   between adolescent  academic  capability  beliefs,  parenting  and  school grades. Journal of Adolescence,25, 3–18.
  8. Gottfried, A. E., Fleming, J. S., & Gottfried, A. W. (1994). Role of parental motivational practices   in   children’s   academic   intrinsic motivation and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86, 104–113
  9. Baumeister, Roy, , Smart, L. & Boden, J. (1996). Relation of threatened egotism to violence and  aggression:  The  dark  side  of  Self-Esteem. Psychological Review, 103, 5–33.
  10. Moghaddam,   (2007). Great  Ideas  in  Psychology(2nd  ed.)  One  world Publications, England.
  11. Marshall, S. L., Parker, P. D., Ciarrochi, J., & Heaven, P. C. L. (2014). Is Self-Esteem a Cause or Consequence of Social Support? A 4-Year Longitudinal Study. Child Development85(3), 1275–1291.
  12. Sommer, K. L., & Baumeister, R. F. (2002). Self-Evaluation, Persistence, and Performance Following Implicit Rejection: The Role of Trait Self-Esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin28(7), 926-938.
  13. Kutob,   M.,  Senf,  J.  H.,  Crago,  M.,    Shisslak,  C.  M.  (2010).  Concurrent and  Longitudinal  Predictors  of  Self-Esteem  in  Elementary  and Middle  School  Girls. Journal  of  School  Health, 80(5),  240–248.
  14. Araujo, P., Lagos, S. (2013). Self-Esteem, education, and wages revisited. Journal of Economic Psychology,34, 120–132.
  15. Hoover-Dempsey,   V.,  &  Sandler,  H.  M.  (1997).  Why  do  parents become   involved   in   their   children’s  education? Review   of Educational Research, 67, 3–42.
  16. Marchant,   J.,  Paulson,  S.  E.,  &  Rothlisberg,  B.  A.  (2001).  Relations  of middle   school   students’   perceptions   of   family   and   school contexts  with  academic  achievement. Psychology  in  the  Schools, 38(6), 505–519
  17. Gual P, Pérez-Gaspar M, Martínez-González MA, Lahortiga F, de Irala-Estévez J, Cervera-Enguix S. Self-esteem, personality, and eating disorders: baseline assessment of a prospective population-based cohort. Int J Eat Disord. 2002 Apr;31(3):261-73. doi: 10.1002/eat.10040. PMID: 11920987.
  18. Khan, A. A., Tufail, M. W., & HUSSAIN, D. I. (2014). A study on impact of parenting styles and self-esteem on academic achievement of postgraduate students. The Sindh University Journal of Education-SUJE43.
  19. Pong, ,  Hao,  L.,  Gardner,  E.  (2005).The  Roles  of  Parenting  Styles  and Social Capital  in  the  School  Performance  of  Immigrant  Asian and  Hispanic  Adolescents. Social  Science  Quarterly,  86(4),  928–950
  20. Ivcevic, , Pillemer, D. B., Brackett, M. A. (2009). Self-Esteem memories and   school   success   in   early   adolescence. Applied   Cognitive Psycholog,24(9), 1265–1278.
  21. Hair,    C.,   Graziano,   W.   G.   (2003).   Self-Esteem,   Personality   and Achievement in High School: A Prospective Longitudinal Study in     Texas. Journal    of    Personality,     71(6),    971–994.
  22. Burns , R.B. 1979 . SelfConcept Theory, Measurement, Development And Behaviour, London : Longman .  
  23. Yamawaki, N., Nelson, J. A. P.&Omoni, M. (2010). Self-esteem and life satisfaction as mediators between parental bonding and psychosocial well-being in Japanese young adults. International Journal of Psychology and Counselling. 3(1), 1-8.
  24. Cardinali,   &  D’Allura,  T.  (2007).  Parenting  styles  and  self-esteem  :  A  study  of    young adults      with  visual  impairment. Journal  of  Visual  Impairment  and  Blindness.  95(5),261-271
  25. Yusuf, ,  Agbonna,  S.  A.  &  Yusuf,  H.T.  (2009).  Influence  of  parenting  styles  on  Junior secondary  school  students  performance  in  social  studies  in  Ilorin  Emirate. Nigerian Journal of Social Studies, 12(7), 35-49
  26. Martinez, I. & Garcia, J. (2008). Parenting styles and self-esteem among Brazillian teenagers From authoritarian, indulgent, authoritative and neglectful homes. Family Therapy. 35(1), 43-59
  27. Yang, H. & Zhou, S. (2008). Relationship among adult-attachment parenting styles and self- esteem of female nursing students. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology. 16(2), 189- 191
  28. Akinsola, E. F. (2011). Correlations between parenting styles and sexual attitudes of young people in Nigeria : comparison of two ethnic groups. Gender and Behaviour 8, 2771- 2788.

CITE AS: Abubakar Tijjani T. (2023). An Evaluation of How Parenting Practices Affect One’s Self-Esteem. IAA JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (IAA-JSS) 9(2):15-20.