ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 379-391.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00379

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Harsh parenting: Meaning, influential factors and mechanisms

WANG Mingzhong1,2; DU Xiuxiu1; ZHOU Zongkui2,3   

  1. (1 School of Educational Science, Qufu Normal University, Qufu 273165, China)
    (2 Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430079, China)
    (3 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2015-09-20 Online:2016-03-15 Published:2016-03-15
  • Contact: ZHOU Zongkui, E-mail:


The research on harsh parenting has developed into an important area during the past twenty years, due to its negative impact on children’s physical and mental health. Harsh parenting is evoked by various individual and environmental factors. The former mainly refers to parents' hostile personality, lower cognitive capacity, experiences of being harshly disciplined themselves, as well as children's difficult temperament and genetic vulnerability. The latter mainly includes familial economic hardship and neighborhood disadvantages. Children exposed to harsh parenting are at risk for a number of negative developmental outcomes, like externalizing and internalizing problems, lower interpersonal competence, and physiological/neural disturbances, etc. This literature review calls for more studies to explore new influencing factors such as disadvantaged family backgrounds and to examine the manifestations and negative effects of harsh parenting. It is also expected to have new studies to strengthen indigenous research for improving its prevention and intervention.

Key words: parenting, harsh parenting, external problems, internal problems