Effects of parenting on empathy and callous-unemotional traits in college students



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Parenting styles have long been linked to the development of empathy and callous-unemotional traits in children. There has been considerably less research conducted with college students. The present study plans to examine the relationships between parenting styles and empathy as well as parenting styles and Callous-Unemotional traits in college students using self-report measures. It was hypothesized that college students with Authoritative parents will score higher on empathy and lower on CU traits than college students with Permissive or Authoritarian parents. Additionally, it was hypothesized that race, sex, and socioeconomic status will moderate these relationships, specifically that the effect of parenting styles on empathy and CU traits will be stronger in college students of minority race, male sex, and low SES. Results suggest that there are relationships between parenting styles, empathy, and CU traits. Namely, Authoritative parenting practices are positively associated with empathy, and Authoritarian parenting practices are negatively associated with CU traits. The current study aimed to fill the gap in parenting literature by testing college students in the emerging adulthood developmental period, which will be informative regarding the long-term effects of parenting into adulthood.



Parenting styles, Empathy, Callous-unemotional traits