The effects of the affectionless control (AC) parenting style on personality traits were studied in 414 Japanese healthy subjects. Perceived parental rearing was assessed by the Parental Bonding Instrument, which comprises care and protection factors, and personality traits were assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory, which has seven dimensions. Parental rearing was classified into four types, i.e., optimal parenting (high care/low protection), affectionate constraint (high care/high protection), neglectful parenting (low care/low protection), and AC (low care/high protection). Males with maternal AC showed significantly higher harm avoidance (HA) scores and lower scores of persistence and cooperativeness than those with maternal optimal parenting. Females with maternal AC showed significantly higher HA scores and lower self-directedness scores than those with maternal optimal parenting. Paternal AC was not significantly related to any personality score. In females, the interaction between paternal rearing and maternal rearing was significant; the effect of maternal AC on HA scores was strongest when combined with paternal neglectful parenting. The present study suggests that the AC type parenting by mothers is associated with specific personality traits, especially high HA, in healthy subjects. © 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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