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The Importance of Personality and Parental Styles on Optimism in Adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2014

Cristian Zanon*
Universidade São Francisco (Brazil)
Micheline Roat Bastianello
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)
Juliana Cerentini Pacico
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)
Claudio Simon Hutz
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Cristian Zanon. Universidade São Francisco. Rua Alexandre Rodrigues Barbosa, 45. Centro, Itatiba - SP Federal (Brazil). +55–5133085246. E-mail:


Some studies have suggested that personality factors are important to optimism development. Others have emphasized that family relations are relevant variables to optimism. This study aimed to evaluate the importance of parenting styles to optimism controlling for the variance accounted for by personality factors. Participants were 344 Brazilian high school students (44% male) with mean age of 16.2 years (SD = 1) who answered personality, optimism, responsiveness and demandingness scales. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted having personality factors (in the first step) and maternal and paternal parenting styles, and demandingness and responsiveness (in the second step) as predictive variables and optimism as the criterion. Personality factors, especially neuroticism (β = –.34, p < .01), extraversion (β = .26, p < .01) and agreeableness (β = .16, p < .01), accounted for 34% of the optimism variance and insignificant variance was predicted exclusively by parental styles (1%). These findings suggest that personality is more important to optimism development than parental styles.

Research Article
Copyright © Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid 2014 

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