Determinants of Parenting Styles of Japanese Fathers and Mothers with Children Aged 0 to 10: Perceived Parenting During Childhood or Dysphoric Mood?

Toshinori Kitamura*, 1, 2, Masayo Uji3, Zi Chen4, Mikihiko Murakami5, Yoshitaka Goto5
1 Kitamura Institute of Mental Health Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
2 Department of Psychiatry, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
3 Department of Bioethics, Kumamoto University Graduate School of Life Sciences, Kumamoto, Japan
4 Research Center of Applied Psychology, Cheng Du Medical College, Cheng Du, China
5 Kumamoto Paediatric Association, Kumamoto, Kumamoto, Japan

© 2014 Kitamura et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Kitamura Institute of Mental Health Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; Tel/Fax: +81-3-6804-5662; E-mail:


Purpose: To study the determinants of current parenting styles in Japan.

Methods: Fathers (n = 312) and mothers (n = 333) of children aged between 0 and 10 attending a paediatric clinic were evaluated with regards to the following: parental attitudes rated by spouses using the Parental Bonding Instrument, current dysphoric mood assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, life time history of Major Depressive Episode (MDE), and perceived parenting styles when the parents themselves were children.

Results: Path models showed that current parenting styles were predicted by parents perception of maternal rearing during childhood. Moreover, in mothers only, they were predicted by the manner in which the women were raised by their fathers. This prediction was indirect, occurring via lifetime history of MDE and current dysphoric mood.

Conclusion: This study suggests that the way in which parents themselves were raised was no less important than how they currently felt in determining how they were raising their child. Current dysphoric mood or lifetime history of MDE mediated such effects only among mothers.

Keywords: Anxiety, depression, mediation, parenting style.