Maternal and Paternal Parenting and Child Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analysis Using a Structural Equation Modeling Design

Lisa van der Storm*, Caspar J. van Lissa, Nicole Lucassen, Katrien O.W. Helmerhorst, Renske Keizer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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The current meta-analysis examined and compared the relative associations of maternal and paternal parenting behavior with children’s prosocial behavior from 29 studies. In total 502 effect sizes (N = 14,627) were subjected to Meta-Analytic Structural Equation Modeling. Controlling for the other parent, both maternal and paternal parenting behavior showed small positive pooled associations with children’s prosocial behavior (r father =.10 and r mother =.12). The partial effect sizes for paternal and maternal parenting did not differ significantly from each other and were significant regardless of parenting dimension, study design (concurrent versus predictive) and average sample age (pre-adolescence versus adolescence). High levels of paternal and maternal warmth and positive control, and low levels of paternal and maternal harshness were associated with more prosocial behavior in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number1
Early online date21-May-2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • fathers
  • meta-analysis
  • mothers
  • parenting
  • prosocial behavior

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