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Special Issue "Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Adolescents".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2023 | Viewed by 16418

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Oscar Fernando García
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Interests: family socialization; self-esteem; academic motivation at school; adolescence and adulthood; peer relationships and school adjustment; and measurement techniques (self-esteem and parenting)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parenting is one of the most important factors related to healthy development. Scholars capture parenting through two theoretical orthogonal dimensions (i.e., unrelated): warmth and strictness. Traditionally, authoritative parenting (warmth and strictness) has been constantly identified as the optimal strategy for the healthy development of children and adolescents and even adult children. Nonetheless, the impact of parenting on psychosocial development might be different depending on the cultural context. For example, authoritarian parenting (strictness without warmth) has been associated with some benefits in American ethnic minorities (e.g., African-American and Chinese-American), or in Arab countries.

Additionally, a growing set of studies seriously questions whether parental strictness is necessary for healthy development in the digital society. Indulgent parenting (warmth without strictness) has been related to equal or even better short- and long-term socialization outcomes than authoritative parenting (warmth with strictness) among adolescents and adult children. Interestingly, it seems that the third emerging stage (i.e., indulgent parenting) could be related to healthy development even in individualistic countries (e.g., United Kingdom, United States, and Sweden). It is possible that the three stages for optimal parenting (i.e., authoritative, authoritarian and indulgent styles) can concur, at the same time, in different environments, context, and cultures, so there is a need to examine the impact of parenting on psychosocial development in different countries and settings across the globe.

This Special Issue is open to high-quality contributions on the study of healthy development, especially those focused on the role of parents.

Dr. Oscar Fernando García
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Parental warmth and strictness
  • Parenting styles
  • Authoritative parenting
  • Indulgent parenting
  • Authoritarian parenting
  • Neglectful parenting
  • Children and adolescents
  • Adulthood
  • Healthy development
  • Competence and adjustment

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Mediation Role of an Individual’s and Couple’s Psychological Factors, Including Parenting in the Prediction of Relational and Marital Satisfaction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 11011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191711011 - 02 Sep 2022
Viewed by 475
Abstract
The goal of this study was to widen the scope of the social component of family sustainability. The fundamental goal of this non-experimental, quantitative study was to look at the links between parenting correlates, personality characteristics, marital satisfaction, and well-being in couples, as [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to widen the scope of the social component of family sustainability. The fundamental goal of this non-experimental, quantitative study was to look at the links between parenting correlates, personality characteristics, marital satisfaction, and well-being in couples, as well as to construct explanatory prediction models for relational and marital satisfaction. The study focused on the effects of personality traits, parental self-efficacy, and attachment to marital and relational satisfaction. The test instruments applied were: the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised, Marital Adjustment Test, Couple Satisfaction Index, Relationship Satisfaction Scale, Family Distress Index, Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (adapted to the role of a parent), Mowen’s Personality Scale, and demographic data. A total of 238 Romanians answered the online survey, recruited based on a convenience sampling method. Participants in this research were individuals who were both married and had at least one child. The main findings show that agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, anxious and avoidant attachment, and marital adjustment predict the satisfaction in the relationship, and openness partially mediates the association between marital adjustment and relationship satisfaction. Parental self-efficacy appears to influence the association between relationship satisfaction and marital satisfaction. An increased parental self-efficacy score predicts an increased relationship satisfaction and marital satisfaction. The higher the parental self-efficacy, the higher the satisfaction in the relationship, which leads to an increase in satisfaction in the couple. These results show that marital adjustment and adaptation are related to relational satisfaction, and these relationship are partially mediated by an individual’s openness. Despite some limitations, the current study significantly contributes to couples therapies and interventions in terms of physical and mental health, and the study provides insight into the experiences and perspectives of married individuals with children in Romania. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
Article
Is the Predisposition to Have More Children Beneficial among Parents with Only One Child? Evidence from Spanish Parents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7685; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137685 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 429
Abstract
The fertility deficit in many European countries is related to a low rate of second births. Understanding the factors associated with the predisposition of one-child parents to have more children could contribute to the search for solutions to this social problem. Although previous [...] Read more.
The fertility deficit in many European countries is related to a low rate of second births. Understanding the factors associated with the predisposition of one-child parents to have more children could contribute to the search for solutions to this social problem. Although previous evidence highlights the role of employment and social factors, psychological factors have been poorly investigated. This study examines the relationship between different psychosocial factors (rumination, personality, life satisfaction, perfectionism, social support, parental stress, guilt linked to work–family conflict, age and child temperament) and parents’ predisposition to have more children. The sample consisted of 96 one-child Spanish parents whose child was in early childhood education (59.3% women; Mage = 37.41). The results show that one-child parents with the predisposition to have more children, compared to those without a predisposition to have more children, showed higher levels of life satisfaction, extroversion and adaptive perfectionism but lower levels of rumination and parental stress. The social implications of these findings and how they may affect parenting today are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
Article
Beyond Parenting Socialization Years: The Relationship between Parenting Dimensions and Grandparenting Functioning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(8), 4528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19084528 - 09 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 783
Abstract
Parental socialization has been studied mainly when is in process, but less is known about its long-term impact on older adults, particularly on one of the most important developmental tasks in later life: being a grandparent. Participants were 313 Spanish grandparents. The present [...] Read more.
Parental socialization has been studied mainly when is in process, but less is known about its long-term impact on older adults, particularly on one of the most important developmental tasks in later life: being a grandparent. Participants were 313 Spanish grandparents. The present study examined the relationship between parenting and its impacts in the long term, when the child is a grandparent. The variables examined were parenting (parental warmth and parental strictness) and grandparenting functioning (satisfaction with life, meaning of life, parent–adult child relationship quality, emotional closeness with grandchildren, and role overload). The statistical analyses were a correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analyses. A constant pattern between parenting and grandparenting functioning has been found. Warmth was positively associated with grandparenting functioning, as opposed to strictness, which did not show benefits for grandparents and even showed a significant negative relationship with an indicator of grandparenting functioning. Present findings highlight that, during the socialization years, greater parental warmth but not parental strictness might be of benefit for children at the end of their life (i.e., when they are grandparents) but also for their descendants because they have a better relationship with the two following generations (i.e., adult children and grandchildren). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
Article
The Link between Parenting Behaviors and Emerging Adults’ Relationship Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Relational Entitlement
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020828 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Previous research shows a link between parenting and children’s characteristics and interpersonal behaviors. However, little is known about the ways in which parenting tactics affect children’s romantic relationships and whether the children’s characteristics can mediate these associations. With this study, the aim was [...] Read more.
Previous research shows a link between parenting and children’s characteristics and interpersonal behaviors. However, little is known about the ways in which parenting tactics affect children’s romantic relationships and whether the children’s characteristics can mediate these associations. With this study, the aim was to test the associations between parents’ helicopter parenting/autonomy-supportive behaviors and emergent adults’ relational satisfaction and couple conflict. In addition, it was tested whether the sense of relational entitlement (excessive and restricted) mediated the links. Two hundred and twelve emergent adult–parent dyads participated in this study. Mediation analyses showed that parental autonomy-supportive behaviors had indirect effects on both the relational satisfaction and the couple conflict reported by the emerging adults through excessive relational entitlement. The link was positive for the former couple-related outcome and negative for the latter one. Helicopter parenting was not related to any variable reported by the emerging adults. In conclusion, positive parenting can increase relational stability and well-being by diminishing some potentially negative psychological characteristics of emerging adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
Article
Raising Children in Risk Neighborhoods from Chile: Examining the Relationship between Parenting Stress and Parental Adjustment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010045 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Introduction: Parenting stress and parental adjustment could implicate key differences in the relational dynamics that parents establish with their children, particularly when families come from vulnerable social contexts. Method: Participants were 142 fathers and mothers from a risk neighborhood of Chile. The variables [...] Read more.
Introduction: Parenting stress and parental adjustment could implicate key differences in the relational dynamics that parents establish with their children, particularly when families come from vulnerable social contexts. Method: Participants were 142 fathers and mothers from a risk neighborhood of Chile. The variables examined were parenting stress (parental distress, parent–child dysfunctional interaction and difficult child) and parental adjustment (depression, anxiety, and stress). Parents also completed a sociodemographic characterization survey. The statistical analyses were a correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analyses. Results: Overall, not all components of parenting stress were related to parental adjustment. Only parental distress was found as a significant predictor of poor parental adjustment (greater depression, anxiety, and stress), but not parent–child dysfunctional interaction and having a difficult child. Conclusions: The present study findings highlight the influence of stress on parenting as a relevant dimension of research for the improvement of the intervention deployed by the state regarding the protection of vulnerable Chilean children, providing multiple clinical and psychosocial applications for research and intervention purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
Article
Family Climate and Intention to Use Cannabis as Predictors of Cannabis Use and Cannabis-Related Problems among Young University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179308 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Determining the predictive variables associated with cannabis use and cannabis-related problems can ease the identification of young cannabis consumers who can benefit from prevention interventions. This study aimed: (1) to describe, among university students, the cannabis use and cannabis-use problems, intention to use [...] Read more.
Determining the predictive variables associated with cannabis use and cannabis-related problems can ease the identification of young cannabis consumers who can benefit from prevention interventions. This study aimed: (1) to describe, among university students, the cannabis use and cannabis-use problems, intention to use cannabis and family climate based on the gender and the people the student lives with; (2) to explore whether the family climate and intention to use cannabis are predictors of cannabis use and cannabis-related problems. The sample was composed of 339 Spanish undergraduates (51.9% females) in a 17-to-25 age range (19.67 ± 1.53). The variables were assessed through a battery based on the ESPAD survey, cannabis abuse screening test, cannabis use intention questionnaire and family climate scale. More men than women had used cannabis in the precedent year and showed greater intention to use cannabis, whereas more women than men showed greater self-efficacy in not using cannabis. The family climate did not predict cannabis use and cannabis-related problems. However, subjective norms and self-efficacy were key predictors of cannabis use and cannabis-use problems, respectively. Different factors seemed to predict the use cannabis in the past year versus cannabis-related problems, and these differences may help inform the development and delivery of preventative efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
Article
Assessment of the Reach, Usability, and Perceived Impact of “Talking Is Power”: A Parental Sexual Health Text-Messaging Service and Web-Based Resource to Empower Sensitive Conversations with American Indian and Alaska Native Teens
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179126 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1556
Abstract
Background: Early sexual debut among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adolescents has been associated with an increased risk of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, along with an increased risk of having multiple lifetime sexual partners, and engaging in greater frequency of [...] Read more.
Background: Early sexual debut among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adolescents has been associated with an increased risk of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, along with an increased risk of having multiple lifetime sexual partners, and engaging in greater frequency of sex, substance abuse, and lack of condom use. A major protective factor against early sexual debut among AI/AN youth is the familial system. Interventions aiming to improve parent–child communication and parental warmth toward adolescent sexual health topics were reported to contribute to positive youth sexual health outcomes, specifically among minority youth. Healthy Native Youth thus developed the Talking is Power text-messaging service to guide parents and caring adults on how to initiate sensitive topics with youth and how to support them in making informed decisions regarding sex and healthy relationships. Methods: Descriptive statistics were used to demonstrate website analytics and reach per views and time spent on each page, and for displaying participants’ responses to the questions on the usability of the Talking is Power text-messaging series. To assess the perceived impact of the series, the differences in mean percentage scores of the question assessing parental comfort in engaging in sexual health topics with youth between pre- and post-intervention were calculated using two-sample t-tests of equal variances. Descriptive content analysis was adopted to highlight emerging themes from open-ended items. Results: When looking at reach, 862 entrances were recorded during the specified time period (5.8% of total entrances to HNY website), while the bounce rate was set at 73.1% (22.6% greater than the industry average), and the exit rate was 54.3% (15.2% greater than the industry average). Series usability was highly ranked on the 5-Likert scale in terms of signing up for a similar series on a different topic, quality of images, texts, and links, relating to prompts, and change in sparking sensitive conversations with youth. High likelihood of recommending the series to a friend or colleague was also reported by participants (0–10). No significant difference in parental comfort levels was reported (p = 0.78 > 0.05). Main themes provided suggestions for improving the series mode of delivery, while others included positive feedback about the material, with the possibility of expanding the series to other adolescent health topics. Conclusion: Lessons learned during the design, dissemination, and evaluation of the resource’s usability, reach, and perceived impact may be of interest to other Indigenous communities who are in the process of adapting and/or implementing similar approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
Article
Family Processes, Parenting Practices, and Psychosocial Maturity of Chinese Youths: A Latent Variable Interaction and Mediation Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084357 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
Development of psychosocial maturity has profound implications for youths’ well-being and positive development in the long run. Nevertheless, little research has investigated the way family socialization contributes to youths’ psychosocial maturity. Both the concepts of family socialization and psychosocial maturity are multifaceted and [...] Read more.
Development of psychosocial maturity has profound implications for youths’ well-being and positive development in the long run. Nevertheless, little research has investigated the way family socialization contributes to youths’ psychosocial maturity. Both the concepts of family socialization and psychosocial maturity are multifaceted and latent, which may lead to biased results if studied by manifest variables. Also, no existing research has discovered how different family socialization components interact latently to contribute to youths’ psychosocial maturity. The current study, based on a sample of 533 Chinese parent-youth dyads, examined the effects of family socialization by positive family processes and authoritative parenting, and their latent interaction in an integrated moderation and mediation modeling framework on Chinese youths’ psychosocial maturity. Results showed that both positive family processes and authoritative parenting, and their latent interaction significantly predicted the higher psychosocial maturity of Chinese youths. Authoritative parenting acted as a mediator for the relationship between positive family processes and Chinese youths’ psychosocial maturity. Furthermore, the mediating effect of authoritative parenting was conditioned by different contexts of positive family processes, the strongest and least strong effects found in high and low positive family processes, respectively, and moderate effect observed in medium positive family processes. Findings of the current study contribute to our understanding of the complicated family mechanism in relation to youth development, especially in this digital era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
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Article
Aggressiveness in Adopted and Non-Adopted Teens: The Role of Parenting, Attachment Security, and Gender
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042034 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship among aggressiveness, parenting practices, and attachment security in adolescents, assessing maternal and paternal effects separately. Two different subsamples of adolescents between 12 and 16 years old participated in the study (n = [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship among aggressiveness, parenting practices, and attachment security in adolescents, assessing maternal and paternal effects separately. Two different subsamples of adolescents between 12 and 16 years old participated in the study (n = 157): 67 adopted adolescents (61.2% girls) and 90 non-adopted adolescents (56.7% girls). Partial and full mediation models were analyzed in multi-group structural equation models (using maximum likelihood estimates), allocating non-adoptive and adoptive adolescents into two different groups. Results showed that whereas acceptance/involvement of each parent predicted attachment security towards the corresponding parental figure, only the father’s coercion/imposition predicted aggressiveness, and only attachment security to the mother was a (negative) predictor of adolescent’s aggressiveness. The partial mediation model provided the most parsimonious explanation for the data, showing no differences between adopted and non-adopted subsamples and supporting a good model fit for both boys and girls in a multi-group invariance analysis. The implications of these results are discussed in light of the protective effects of care relationships in early adolescence (vs. late adolescence) as well as the differential role of parent figures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
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Article
Parental Beliefs about Childhood and Adolescence from a Longitudinal Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041760 - 11 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Research into family context as a socializing agent points to the need to take parental beliefs into account due to the role they play in both parenting strategies and, ultimately, in the psychosocial adjustment of children and adolescents. The present study aims to [...] Read more.
Research into family context as a socializing agent points to the need to take parental beliefs into account due to the role they play in both parenting strategies and, ultimately, in the psychosocial adjustment of children and adolescents. The present study aims to explore possible relationships between parental beliefs about childhood and adolescence from a longitudinal and qualitative perspective. The beliefs held by parents of teenagers about adolescence are compared with those they hold about childhood at that same moment, and the evolution of these ideas is charted over the course of 16 years as their children grow. A total of 102 parents participated in the longitudinal study. They completed two types of semi-structured interviews: one of them throughout the entire study period and the other once their children became teenagers. The results reveal an association between the type of beliefs parents hold about childhood and their perception of adolescence, and they indicate that these ideas change over time as more adjusted and modern beliefs about child development correlate with a more positive perception of adolescence. These results are interpreted from the perspective of their influence on beliefs about parenting styles, reflecting what is reported in the recent literature regarding the most successful styles for fostering children’s and adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
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Article
Parenting Warmth and Strictness across Three Generations: Parenting Styles and Psychosocial Adjustment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207487 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 4100
Abstract
Recent emergent research is seriously questioning whether parental strictness contributes to children’s psychosocial adjustment in all cultural contexts. We examined cross-generational differences in parental practices characterized by warmth and practices characterized by strictness, as well as the relationship between parenting styles (authoritative, indulgent, [...] Read more.
Recent emergent research is seriously questioning whether parental strictness contributes to children’s psychosocial adjustment in all cultural contexts. We examined cross-generational differences in parental practices characterized by warmth and practices characterized by strictness, as well as the relationship between parenting styles (authoritative, indulgent, authoritarian, and neglectful) and psychosocial adjustment in adulthood. Parenting practices characterized by warmth (affection, reasoning, indifference, and detachment) and strictness (revoking privileges, verbal scolding, and physical punishment) were examined. Psychosocial adjustment was captured with multidimensional self-concept and well-being (life satisfaction and happiness). Participants were 871 individuals who were members of three generations of Spanish families: College students (G3), their parents (G2), and their grandparents (G1). Results showed two different cross-generational patterns in parenting practices, with an increased tendency toward parental warmth (parents use more affection and reasoning but less indifference across generations) and a decreased tendency toward parental strictness (parents use revoking privileges, verbal scolding, and physical punishment less across generations). Interestingly, despite cross-generational differences in parenting practices, a common pattern between parenting styles and psychosocial adjustment was found: indulgent parenting was related to equal or even better self-concept and well-being than authoritative parenting, whereas parenting characterized by non-warmth (authoritarian and neglectful) was related to poor scores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
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Review

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Review
Digitalisation, Parenting, and Children’s Mental Health: What Are the Challenges and Policy Implications?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116452 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 614
Abstract
In this narrative review, the relationships between digitalisation and the mental health status among children and youths will be discussed first. Second, amidst the pandemic, parents and children have much more time to spend together at home, so parenting plays a more significant [...] Read more.
In this narrative review, the relationships between digitalisation and the mental health status among children and youths will be discussed first. Second, amidst the pandemic, parents and children have much more time to spend together at home, so parenting plays a more significant role in determining children’s wellbeing. Therefore, how different parenting styles impact digitalisation and the mental health experienced by children and youths will be assessed. This narrative review aims to investigate the parenting conditions needed for children and youths to benefit from the growth of digitalisation, so that policies for digital transformation can be recommended. The outputs of this narrative review include recommending the endeavours of digital transformation that involve indiscriminately active inclusion and facilitating privileged young people, as well as their less advantaged counterparts, to maximise the advantages digitalisation offers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the Digital Society and Healthy Development)
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