Background: The first aim of the present study was to investigate differences and similarities in perceived parenting styles between fathers and mothers in the same family. Secondarily, this study wanted to verify the relation between parental anxiety and parenting dimensions, assuming differences according to the parental gender. Methods: The 80 parents of 40 school-age children independently completed the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ), the Parenting Instrument (PI) and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Results: revealed differences between fathers and mothers in almost all the variables considered, with mothers who reported the highest scores. Significant correlations between paternal and maternal perceptions were found in authoritarian style and in the practices of psychological control (disappointing and shaming). Finally, parental anxiety was associated positively with authoritarian style and inadequate parental practices, and negatively with authoritative style, expressive warmth and supportive involvement: the constructs however correlated in a different way according to parental gender. Conclusions: Independent assessment of both mother’s and father’s parenting styles and, especially, parental practices of psychological control seem to be necessaries both in research and practical settings.
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