Impact of Marital Conflict and Parenting Styles on Self-Esteem of Adolescents

Author: Rafia Rehman

Supervisor: Dr. Saima Dawood

Degree: BS

Year: 2006-2010

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The present research was conducted to see how self-esteem of adolescent is affected by the marital conflict between parents and also to child rearing practices adopted by the parents during the upbringing process. For this purpose, a sample of 254 boys and 246 girls of 13 to 17 years of age were collected from different schools of Lahore city. Three instruments were used for the collection of the data: Parent Authority Questionnaire (Buri, 1991, translated and adapted in Urdu language by Babree. 1997) to assess the parenting styles adopted by the parents during the upbringing process, Self Esteem Scale developed by Raifi & Tariq (1999) to assess self-esteem of the adolescents, Marital Conflict Scale (Lopez, 1991, translated and adapted in Urdu language by Azam, 2006) to assess adolescents’ perception of marital conflict between the parents. Results obtained from Pearson Product Moment Correlation showed a negative relationship between marital conflict and self-esteem suggesting that an increase in the conflict between the parents results in poor self-esteem of their offspring. Furthermore, significant and positive relationship was found between Authoritative parenting styles used by the parents and Self-esteem of adolescents. The present findings are consistent with the previous researches suggesting that adolescents from families with high marital conflict developed a lower level of self-esteem and exhibited more problematic behaviors (Ozen, 2004). Moreover, findings do suggest that conflict between parents is intrusive to children’s internal processes and predictive of invasive and unproductive parenting (Bradford & Barber, 2005). Therefore, the findings of the study can be utilized as the etiological factor in clinical setting for their problems.

Keywords: Self-Esteem, Marital Conflict, Adolescents, Parenting Styles.

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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245