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459257

nal for the Education of the GiftedMiller et al.

JEGXXX10.1177/0162353212459257Jour

Original Article

Parenting Style,
Perfectionism, and
Creativity in HighAbility and HighAchieving Young Adults

Journal for the Education of the Gifted
XX(X) 1­–22
© The Author(s) 2012
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DOI: 10.1177/0162353212459257
http://jeg.sagepub.com

Angie L. Miller1, Amber D. Lambert1,
and Kristie L. Speirs Neumeister2

Abstract
The current study explores the potential relationships among perceived parenting
style, perfectionism, and creativity in a high-ability and high-achieving young adult
population. Using data from 323 honors college students at a Midwestern university,
bivariate correlations suggested positive relationships between (a) permissive
parenting style and creativity and (b) authoritarian parenting style and socially
prescribed perfectionism. Furthermore, negative relationships were also found
between authoritarian parenting style and creativity. These relationships were further
investigated using a path model that included control variables for gender and
parent education level. Findings suggest statistically significant relationships between
creativity and gender, authoritarian parenting and socially prescribed perfectionism,
authoritarian parenting and creativity, and permissive parenting and creativity.
Keywords
creativity, high ability, high achieving, parenting style, perfectionism
The ability to think creatively, to produce novel and appropriate responses and outcomes in given situations (Brown, 1989; Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow, 2004), will be
paramount for individuals to succeed in a competitive, global environment. Although
creative-thinking skills are important for all individuals, they are particularly
important for high-ability individuals, as they are more likely to enter professions such
1

Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA

2

Corresponding Author:
Angie L. Miller, Indiana University, 1900 E 10th St., Suite 419 Bloomington, IN 47406, USA
Email: anglmill@indiana.edu

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2

Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X)

as medicine, engineering, and technological fields that demand problem-solving skills
and innovation. To succeed in these professions, high-ability learners cannot rely on
mastery of content alone but need to hone their creative-thinking skills as well.
Acknowledgment of this realization leads parents and educators to then pose the following question: What factors influence creative-thinking skills in high-ability students? Gaining an understanding of this question will allow parents and educators to
adapt their styles to more effectively develop creative-thinking skills in high-ability
students. To determine potential influences on creativity within a high-ability and
high-achieving population, a review of previous research is first necessary.
Creativity has been extensively studied in educational research (Andiliou & Murphy,
2010; Dai, Swanson, & Cheng, 2011; Piirto, 2004). Yet, despite the broad accumulated
knowledge on the topic, more research is needed to understand what aspects of personality affect creative expression and how background experiences influence the development of creativity. It is also important to determine precisely what is meant by the term
creativity, as many researchers in the field are not even in complete agreement about the
exact nature of this construct (Davis, 2004). For the purpose of this study, a widely used
and basic description of the construct would be any behavior or outcome that is both
“novel” and “appropriate” (Brown, 1989; Plucker et al., 2004). In addition, in our discussions of creativity, we implicitly refer to what is known as little c creativity (Davis,
2004). This type of little c creativity is demonstrated through everyday problem solving
by relatively ordinary people, as opposed to Big C creativity, that is demonstrated by
individuals such as artists or scientists who are well known and distinguished in their
domain (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996). As little c creativity can be investigated in larger
groups of individuals, rather than only with a few eminent people in a particular field,
it is the preferred conceptualization for the current study.
In addition to the little c/Big C distinction, within the field of creativity research,
there is also an ongoing debate over the manifestation of creativity. Some claim that
creativity is specific to individual domains such as music, fine arts, writing, or science
and that the characteristics and skills necessary for creativity in a certain domain do
not translate to other domains (Baer, 1994). However, others assert that creativity is a
more general trait or cognitive skill that can be expressed in a wide range of circumstances (Plucker, 1998). This debate is discrete from, yet also related to, the little c/Big
C issue, insofar as Big C is demonstrated within specific fields and would therefore
support a more domain-specific conceptualization of creativity. The converse idea that
domain generality can be connected with little c creativity, as a general cognitive skill
would be more apparent in everyday problem solving, also applies to the conceptualization of creativity used in the current study. Although it is true that some researchers
prefer to conceptualize little c creativity in conjunction with domain specificity (i.e.,
Root-Bernstein & Root-Bernstein, 2004), for the purposes of the current study, a little
c/domain-general perspective will be applied.
Because a domain-general, little c creativity is applicable to a variety of individuals
and across many different domains (Davis, 2004), the measure of creativity should
also be consistent with this conceptualization. A variety of creativity measures exist,

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the product component explores the characteristics of products considered to be creative. which in turn can affect the final product.sagepub. Baumrind (1978) described different parenting styles. spontaneity. process. and press—the 4 Ps (Davis. such as desire for spontaneity and openness to ideas.3 Miller et al. defines these various dimensions of creativity as creative engagement. 2009. tolerance. behavioral. indifferent. 2000). Downloaded from jeg. An authoritative style exhibits high levels of responsiveness and demandingness. the person component may affect the process. all of which can be influenced by the press of the situation. or affective and emotional. can affect creativity. A permissive style exhibits a low level of demandingness but a high level of responsiveness. Authoritarian parents are very strict with their children and emphasize discipline over nurturing. Self-report measures are methodologically the most efficient. One such self-report measure. Although they are often presented as separate categories. Viewing creativity from these potential lenses is consistent with a multidimensional understanding of creativity. it is nevertheless important to explore how these components intermingle in the manifestation of creativity. 1979) to divergent thinking assessments (Torrance. and fantasy. the Scale of Creative Attributes and Behaviors (SCAB. such as use of imagination or intellectual problem solving. Permissive parents are very accepting but exhibit less control over their children. It is crucial to note that the 4 Ps are not considered to be separate types of creativity. product. An authoritarian style exhibits a high level of demandingness but a low level of responsiveness. Indifferent parents have little interest or involvement in the child’s life. along with the person component of perfectionism. The dimensions of creativity can be cognitive in nature. The current study attempted to examine one potential connection among these components by investigating how the press component of parenting style. 2015 . The person component emphasizes the internal personality characteristics of creative individuals. For example. Crain. Parenting Styles The notion of different types of parenting styles has received a great deal of attention in developmental psychology through the past four decades (Berk. but instead as potential lenses through which researchers can design. Authoritative parents make reasonable demands. Kelly. and interpret investigations of creativity. the process component looks at the internal processes that take place during creative expression. explore. domain-general perspective. and as they explicitly assess multiple aspects of creativity are the most reflective of a little c. and range from self-report measures (Gough. Maccoby and Martin (1983) also described a fourth parenting style. and the press component investigates the ways in which environment can influence creativity. in which parents show low levels of responsiveness and demandingness. which vary according to their degree of responsiveness and demandingness. but are very accepting of their children as well. 2004).com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. 1998) to ratings of creative products (Amabile. such as engaging in creative activities. 2004). Creativity research is often categorized into a focus on four different variables: person. 1982). creative cognitive style.

com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. Snowden and Christian (1999) found that authoritative parenting was important for fostering creativity in young gifted children. This negative relationship between parental control and creativity has also been demonstrated in laboratory settings (Gronick. 2002). it may be that responsiveness is the most important dimension for creative expression. it is important to further understand how various components of this and other parenting styles can positively or negatively affect creative expression. from parents are associated with higher levels of creativity in children. Gurland. & Jacob. Coolahan. Snowden & Christian. Parker. 2000). & Rosenblate. Research also suggests that authoritarian mothers are less likely to provide home environments conducive to creativity. Lim and Smith (2008) found that higher levels of acceptance. Harsh treatment. along with excessive control and demands. Generally. Given the previous research on the effect of parenting style for gifted and nongifted populations. Schuler. Is it the low level of responsiveness. 1997. whereas the authoritarian style. 1995.sagepub. This type of responsiveness to the child’s behavior is characteristic of the permissive and the authoritative parenting styles. related to authoritative and permissive styles. 2002). perfectionism is another construct that has been studied within gifted populations. some evidence suggests that this characteristic is commonly associated with many high-ability and high-achieving individuals (Parker & Adkins. Marten. also found with the authoritative style. 1997). Because authoritarian parenting style is characterized by harsh treatment and high levels of control. use physical means of discipline. 2002. Tennent & Berthelsen. Dacey (1989) also found that an interest in a child’s behavior with few specific rules to govern it was largely present in the families of highly creative individuals. 1997). 2005). was usually negatively related to creativity. Lahart. 1990). Self-oriented perfectionists are those that Downloaded from jeg. Fantuzzo. In a study of adolescents. which contributes to the negative influence? Results linking responsiveness to creativity have been found in gifted populations as well. instead establishing restrictive environments that inhibit growing independence. gender. which is low in responsiveness. Furthermore. & Grim. McWayne. which negatively affects creativity? If so. Although a debate exists over the precise nature and potential effects of perfectionism (Greenspon. and different cultural factors (Chao. the literature has indicated that parenting styles high in responsiveness (permissive and authoritative) had positive relationships with creativity. DeCourcey. 2015 . such as that found in psychically and emotionally abusive parent–child relationships. 2000. 1999. The construct of perfectionism is widely accepted as multidimensional (Frost. characteristic of the authoritarian style. Hewitt and Flett (1991) defined the dimensions based on the source of the excessively high standards. should indifferent parenting also be negatively related to creativity? Or is it the high level of demandingness in the authoritarian style. although this effect can vary by age. 2001. can lead to low levels of creativity (Pandey. Perfectionism In addition to parenting style.4 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) These parenting styles may have an effect on creativity. and expect children to not make mistakes (Tennent & Berthelsen.

These researchers assert that healthy perfectionism is sometimes confused for conscientiousness. Although some researchers have argued that perfectionism has a healthy component (e. can have a negative effect on creative potential. Flett and Hewitt (2006) argued that their research collectively shows that self-oriented. & Harmatz. other-oriented. 2002) that have been found to negatively correlate with creativity as well (Curl. and socially prescribed perfectionism are not healthy but rather associated with various maladaptive tendencies. 2004). Furthermore.. either from the self or from others. Speirs Neumeister and Finch (2006) found an indirect relationship between parenting style and perfectionism. 2002).sagepub. 2015 . they found that high degrees of perfectionism were negatively related to creative performance. anxiety. and parenting style described above are no exception. and creativity (Baer & Kaufman. Silverman. 1995). Demographic Characteristics As with any psychological construct. When Joy and Hicks (2004) explored the potential relationship between perfectionism and creativity. perfectionism. This negative relationship between creativity and perfectionism has also been found in gifted individuals (Gallucci. or particularly negative aspects of perfectionism such as excessive doubts and extreme concern for making mistakes. see Flett & Hewitt. whereas other-oriented perfectionists have unrealistically high standards for other people. in a college student population (Kawamura. studies have found that perfectionism correlates with various factors such as stress. and the concepts of creativity. which then predicted either self-oriented or socially prescribed perfectionism. In addition. & Kline. reporting that authoritarian and indifferent parenting styles predicted insecure attachment.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. 2008. Hewitt. 2007).g. Finally. research suggests that Downloaded from jeg. and perhaps this is what others are referring to when they speak of the adaptive aspects of perfectionism. socially prescribed perfectionists perceive that others have unrealistically high expectations for them. Zhang. 2008. Rapagna. it should be noted that previous research shows gender-based differences in perceptions of parenting style (McGillicuddy-De Lisi & De Lisi. Owens & Slade. An extensive qualitative study suggested that the development of socially prescribed perfectionism is related to authoritarian parenting (Speirs Neumeister. and concern for mistakes (for a review of studies.5 Miller et al. There is also evidence that demonstrates a connection between parenting style and perfectionism. Research has also indicated that authoritarian styles are related to maladaptive perfectionism. 2000). Therefore. One must keep in mind that many factors can play a role in explaining individual differences. as authoritarian parenting and perfectionism may decrease creativity. Frost. certain demographic aspects of an individual can have an effect on his or her personal and social experience. 2009). & Singer. 2008. Furthermore. Middleton. maintain unrealistically high standards for themselves. The imposition of strict controls. the relationship between parenting style and perfectionism (Flett. Rejskind. 1992). The emphasis on enforcing strict rules may not only inhibit a freedom for creative expression but can also contribute to the development of strict self-imposed rules. & Gold. 2009).

it was expected that other-oriented perfectionism would be negatively related to tolerance. perfectionism. It was hypothesized that those parenting styles high in responsiveness (permissive and authoritative) would be positively related to overall creativity. as the low demands and responsiveness of this style would probably not provide children with either the encouragement or resources to engage in many types of creative activities and behaviors. Given the multidimensional conceptualization of creativity utilized with this study. It was also predicted that authoritarian parenting style would be negatively related to the creative aspects of spontaneity and tolerance. investigating how parenting style and perfectionism might relate to each other in their influence on creativity. as expecting perfection from others is inconsistent with showing a lenient attitude. As these types of perfectionism have an internal target. 2002). This hypothesis was derived from the idea that the low responsiveness of authoritarian parenting would contribute to a lack of encouragement for involvement in creative activities. it was expected that all three types of perfectionism (self-oriented. it was expected that the more affective and emotional components of spontaneity and tolerance would be more negatively related to self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism. perfectionism. unconventional. a final goal of the current study was also to explore these three constructs together. other-oriented.sagepub.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. These aspects of creativity have affective and emotional components that may be less likely to thrive in environments of high demands but low responsiveness associated with authoritarian parenting. and creativity in a population of high-ability and high-achieving college students. the goal of the current study was to explore the relationships among parenting style.6 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) parenting style may differ depending on socioeconomic status (SES) of families (Coolahan et al. it was expected indifferent parenting style would be most negatively related to creative engagement. Given the prior research suggesting that perfectionism is linked to both parenting style and creativity. and socially prescribed) would be negatively related to creativity but positively related to authoritarian parenting style. Downloaded from jeg. 2015 .. as the high responsiveness of these styles is more likely to encourage creative thoughts and activities. Permissive parenting style was also expected to be positively related to spontaneity and tolerance. as the low demandingness coupled with high responsiveness of this style might boost these emotional components. individuals high in these types of perfectionism may not allow themselves to engage in unplanned. with parental education level having great influence on SES in our society. More specifically. more specifically it was predicted that authoritarian parenting style would be negatively related to creative engagement. it is important to consider these differences in any explanation of how parenting style. Furthermore. and creativity may be related. and potentially unapproved behavior. Given this wealth of prior research. In addition. Finally. whereas the parenting styles low in responsiveness (authoritarian and indifferent) would be negatively related to overall creativity. It was expected that authoritative and permissive parenting styles would be positively related to creative engagement and fantasy. The Current Study Based on the results of previous research.

Although this response rate is somewhat lower than desirable.8%) reported their ethnicity as Caucasian.7%). An incentive raffle for a free mp3 player was used. and spring of 2009. 230 females (71. social coping. Three separate recruitment periods took place over the spring of 2008. Data Collection Procedures Students were recruited through an email requesting their participation in a research study about the psychological development of giftedness. recommendations. comparisons with population demographics (see above) ensure the representativeness of the sample and generally relieve concern of a self-selection bias by key characteristics.7 Miller et al. The order of instruments was counterbalanced between versions to account for potential survey fatigue.5%) not reporting their gender. The surveys were completed online during a single session.5). SD = 1. A majority (80%) of the students reported that at least one parent had completed a 4-year degree. parenting. after removing outliers of greater than 2 hr (most likely due to participants leaving the web browser open while leaving the computer or working on other tasks) was 43 min. social dominance. ethnic identity. Each class was represented. Materials The following measures were included in a larger battery of 12 instruments. The majority of students (89.sagepub.4%) included in the sample.3%). juniors (12. high school grade point average (GPA). Two versions were administered. therefore. and approximately 26% of all honors college students participated. The instruments covered topics including creativity. Although there are more females than males. attachment style. and writing samples. each version contained all of the instruments. All students in the honors college received this email. achievement motivation. 2015 . with freshmen (45.3%). suicide ideation.2%). Method Participants The participants were 323 students in the honors college of a Midwestern university. which contained a link to the survey instrument. fall of 2008. as all participants completed all 12 instruments and demographic items. plus demographic items. temperament. and 8 students (2.6. sophomores (18. these respondent characteristics do not differ significantly when compared with the demographics of the entire honors college population. not all instruments administered are included in the current study. Admissions to the honors college is based on standardized test scores (SAT and ACT). perfectionism. There were 85 males (26.2%).com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. The average completion time. and more Caucasian than minority students in the sample. the sample was highly representative of the population and not considered biased in terms of gender or ethnicity. overexcitability. Students completing the survey instrument more than once had their second set of responses deleted from the sample. and personality traits. ranging in age from 18 to 23 years (M = 19. and seniors (20. Downloaded from jeg.

Hewitt and Flett (1991) reported adequate internal consistency (across 4 studies. and socially prescribed perfectionism. with higher scores indicating higher levels of perfectionism.845 . Parenting Scales. or 3 (both parents and one other caregiver). Participants read four descriptive paragraphs. For each style.851 20 4 4 4 4 4 . indicating the degree of exposure to that particular style. authoritarian. and indicated whether the description was characteristic of their mother. internalized distress.. other-oriented. “I strive to be the best at everything I do” and “My family expects me to be perfect”) using a 7-point Likerttype scale. and Dornbusch (1991). 1991). in which the instrument was designed as part of a larger group of scales to retrospectively determine perceived authoritative.790 . respondents could score 0 (neither parent). one for each style.e. they left it blank.824 .. Cronbach’s alphas for the current study are found in Table 1.8 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) Table 1.882 . Mounts.912 . Scores for each subscale can range from 15 to 105. 1 (one parent). 1991) measured perfectionism with a 45-item scale to assess self-oriented.826 .816 . The MPS (Hewitt & Flett. Cronbach’s Alphas for MPS and SCAB MPS   Self-oriented perfectionism   Other-oriented perfectionism   Socially prescribed perfectionism SCAB   Overall creativity   Creative engagement   Creative cognitive style  Spontaneity  Tolerance  Fantasy Number of items Cronbach’s α 15 15 15 . If the description was not characteristic of any caregiver. α ranged from . 2015 . father. In the original validation studies on the MPS.751 Note: MPS = Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. This produced an ordinallevel variable for each parenting style. Participants indicated their level of agreement with statements about certain perceptions and behaviors (i. school achievement. providing support for the construct validity. and indifferent parenting styles for the mothers and fathers of participating students. permissive. Factor analysis confirmed the three hypothesized types of perfectionism. and problem behavior (Lamborn et al. the higher the score.sagepub.89 for subscales). Steinberg.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. 2 (both parents or one parent and one other caregiver). SCAB = Scale of Creative Attributes and Behaviors. Additional analyses indicated a significant positive Downloaded from jeg. Previous research shows that the parenting style descriptions are able to determine predicted patterns in outcomes of psychosocial development. the greater the degree of perceived exposure to the parenting style. Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS).74 to . or other caregiver. Three subscale scores were calculated from the responses. The parenting style assessment was adapted from a study by Lamborn.

2004) designed to assess the dimensions of creative engagement. r = .com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. and perfectionism and creativity. and this similarity to findings using other creativity measures provides evidence of concurrent validity (Kelly. Analytical Procedures In the first stage of analyses.” “I am flexible in my thinking. Cronbach’s alphas for the current study are found in Table 1. and behaviors (i.51 total scale).61 for subscales). In the next stage. the authors obtained evidence for concurrent and divergent validity in the coadministration of the MPS with a variety of personality measures. there were very few cases with missing data and thus only a few cases were lost (path model n = 298) and these lost cases did not change the Downloaded from jeg. SCAB. relationship with observer ratings (r = . characteristics. “I enjoy creating new things.82 for subscales) and test–retest reliability after 1 month (r = . a series of bivariate correlations were completed to explore the potential relationships between parenting style and creativity. the statistical package used for analysis of the path model. creative cognitive style. 1 = first-generation student [neither parent had completed a 4-year degree]).e.. Additional validity studies indicated a significant positive relationship with the personality trait of Openness to Experience (r = . Educational level of both parents was also asked of participants. Additional demographic information was also collected and recoded for use as control variables.sagepub.75 total scale. In the original validation studies on the SCAB. and the subscales were able to differentiate between samples of students and clinical patients. Kelly (2004) reported adequate internal consistency (α = .80 total scale.69-. whereas the subscale scores can range from 4 to 28.90 for subscales). α = . This 20-item scale instructs participants to indicate their level of agreement with statements about typical attitudes.70-. Five subscale scores and one overall score can be calculated from the responses. 2015 . Other demographics. performance standards. Furthermore. 1991).” and “I often fantasize”) using a 7-point Likert-type scale. we created a structural equation model using our hypothesized relationships suggested by past literature and our findings from the first stage of this study. Gender was recoded as a dichotomous variable (0 = male. Because AMOS. does not allow for missing values in the computation of modification indices. Perhaps due to the high achievement and conscientiousness of the students in this study. 2006). and fantasy. tolerance. Creating this path model allowed us to further investigate the relationship between variables while correcting for potential inflation due to multiple correlations. Factor analysis confirmed the five hypothesized components. and clinical assessments (Hewitt & Flett. This information was then recoded into a dichotomous variable for status as a first-generation college student (0 = not a first-generation student [at least one parent had completed a 4-year degree]. only those cases without any missing data were included in the model. 1 = female).35-. The SCAB is a self-report creativity measure (Kelly. with higher scores indicating higher levels of creativity. The overall score can range from 20 to 140. providing support for the construct validity. parenting style and perfectionism. spontaneity.9 Miller et al.

074 .05.082 −.138* −. **p < .067 .020 .136* *p < .075 −.081 −.121* −.013 *p < . makeup of the characteristics of the sample. Downloaded from jeg.080 −.016 .100 −.073 .061 −.020 −.053 .048 .048 .034 −. Table 4.05.062 −. Bivariate Correlations for Creativity and Parenting Style Overall creativity Creative engagement Creative cognitive style Spontaneity Tolerance Fantasy Authoritarian Authoritative Permissive −.055 . and 4.119* −.sagepub.05. and Parenting Scales) and their subscales are presented in Tables 2.105 . for the overall SCAB score (r = .074 . 2015 . Bivariate Correlations for Parenting Style and Perfectionism Authoritarian Authoritative Permissive Self-oriented perfectionism Other-oriented perfectionism Socially prescribed perfectionism .151** .065 . Permissive parenting showed a significant positive relationship with creativity. Bivariate Correlations for Creativity and Perfectionism Self-oriented perfectionism Other-oriented perfectionism Socially prescribed perfectionism −.083 .072 −. After determination of acceptable model fit. **p < . Results Correlation Analyses The correlation matrices for all three instruments (SCAB.136* −.045 Overall creativity Creative engagement Creative cognitive style Spontaneity Tolerance Fantasy *p < .078 .029 .109 .com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24.080 .109 −.058 .092 .150** −. 3.210** −.10 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) Table 2. MPS.01.165* . the path coefficients were examined to review the possible relationships.01.151.060 . **p < .01.102 .013 . Table 3.009 .

150. Authoritarian parenting showed a significant negative correlation with creativity.136. even the more conservative RMSEA and PCLOSE.008) and the fantasy subscale (r = .121.035).g. only those variables with significant bivariate correlations were selected for inclusion in the model. self-oriented perfectionism. only the overall creativity score was included as an endogenous variable in the model. p = . or creativity scales. It may be that there is not a strong relationship between the different variables.. the Creative Cognitive Style subscale (r = −. 1999).210. rather than including each of the subscales.017). Path Model To create the most parsimonious path model. self-oriented perfectionism showed a significant negative correlation for the SCAB subscale of tolerance (r = −. p = . p = . it should be noted that the strengths of the correlations were rather weak. Mathematically. because the overall score was the only creativity measure consistently related to parenting style. 2015 . In addition. Furthermore. and other-oriented perfectionism were not included in the model.165.05 (Hu & Bentler.138.119. As shown in Table 5. The following cutoffs suggest a good fit when testing structural models: Tucker–Lewis Index (TLI) and Comparative Fit Index (CFI) values greater than . authoritative parenting style. and the Tolerance subscale (r = −. all suggest that the model is a good fit for the data. root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) value less than . p = . Although many of these correlations were significant.sagepub. Due to an extremely low variance. the correlation only explained anywhere from 1% to 4% of the variance.136. with many participants scoring a 0 and very few scoring a 2 or 3. for many of these relationships. Although participants could theoretically score between 0 and 3 on the parenting style measures (with a higher score meaning greater exposure to the style).015). p = . these tests. Diseth & Kobbeltvedt. indifferent parenting style was not included in the correlation analyses (82% of participants had a score of zero for this variable). When using the traditional measure of model fit (χ2). other model-fit indices were considered.004). 2010). In considering the R2 values. p = . p = .11 Miller et al.001). or it may be that the relationship with parenting style is not reflected well with a linear analysis. this limits the variability and reduces the likelihood of getting a strong correlation.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. no other significant correlations were found for any of the parenting style.008). Socially prescribed perfectionism showed a significant negative correlation with creativity for the SCAB subscale of tolerance (r = −. This combination of bivariate correlations and path analyses has been utilized in previous research with college student scores on multiple self-report instruments (e. for the overall SCAB score (r = −. Therefore. p = . calculated by squaring the correlation coefficient to create an estimate of the explained variance.95. there was a negative skew for authoritarian and permissive styles. Although some were hypothesized. perfectionism. and PCLOSE should be greater than . the Creative Engagement subscale (r = −. indifferent parenting style. Authoritarian parenting also showed a significant positive correlation with socially prescribed perfectionism (r = .06. p < .016). the model had a weak fit. Downloaded from jeg. Because the size of the sample inflates the chi-square value.033).

12 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) Table 5. as this relationship remained significant even when taking into account the influence of other variables. The results of the path model also support this potential strength of permissive parenting.999 Note: TLI = Tucker–Lewis Index.929 .168) suggests that male students reported higher overall creativity. This finding provides evidence for a potential strength of a permissive parenting. The positive correlation between creativity (overall and fantasy subscale) and permissive parenting suggests that more perceived exposure to a permissive style is related to higher levels of self-reported creativity. the negative path coefficient for gender on overall creativity (−. whereas.05. parenting style.212).com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. as well as the others. this study failed to find evidence for this.218) suggested a positive relationship and the strongest one in the overall model. it was the only perfectionism scale included in the model.162). RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation. and perfectionism in high-ability and high-achieving young adults. although there is not much literature to support this finding. Finally. only four direct relationships were statistically significant (p < . are explored in more detail in the discussion section. RMSEA less than . Recent research does suggest that the positive outcomes of authoritative parenting may not Downloaded from jeg. The outcome for the path model was overall creativity. in contrast. Both gender (1 = female) and parental education level (1 = first-generation college student) were exogenous variables in the model. Strong model fit is reflected by CFI and TLI greater than . 2015 . Although both indirect and direct effects were explored in the path model (see Figure 1). The two parenting styles (authoritarian and permissive) that the correlation analyses showed were related to perfectionism and creativity were also included in the model. CFI = Comparative Fit Index. Discussion Several different sets of analyses were completed.95. Although most research provides evidence supporting authoritative parenting as being associated with positive outcomes. exposure to an authoritarian parenting style had a negative effect (−. each revealing further evidence concerning the relationship between creativity.06.917 . This negative effect was actually the strongest influence on a student’s overall creativity. The path coefficient for authoritarian parenting style on socially prescribed perfectionism (. and PCLOSE greater than .05 or lower). at least among gifted young adults. Possible explanations for this finding.sagepub. Because socially prescribed perfectionism was the only type of perfectionism that was correlated with overall creativity or parenting style. Permissive parenting style was shown to have a statistically significant positive effect on a student’s overall creativity (. Model-Fit Results for Path Model N TLI CFI RMSEA PCLOSE 298 .040 .

Figure 1.sagepub. Path model with statistically significant standardized path coefficients 13 Downloaded from jeg. 2015 .com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24.

although conditional acceptance plays a role in the development of perfectionism.sagepub. 2004). 2004. and children grow up believing they are never good enough (Greenspon. This finding further supports the potential weaknesses of this style. but the high degree of demandingness is not as effective for this particular population of high-ability and high-achieving young adults.. with permissive as a positive predictor and authoritarian as a negative predictor. in neither the bivariate correlation Downloaded from jeg. particularly with a gifted population (Dwairy.]” and is a pervasive theme in the literature concerning the clinical implications of perfectionism (Greenspon. 2011). The relationship between authoritarian parenting and creativity is more complex to interpret. whereas permissive parents are low in demandingness and high in responsiveness. it is not necessarily constrained to one particular parenting style. Joy & Hicks. This would be an interesting question for future research to address. It may be that the high degree of responsiveness found in permissive and authoritative parenting is what is most important for nurturing creativity. Although previous literature has demonstrated a link between perfectionism and creativity (Gallucci et al. Even when controlling for gender and first-generation status. which may additionally obscure patterns in the results. 2000.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. These opposite styles had opposite effects on creativity in the model. Authoritarian parents are high in demandingness and low in responsiveness. win awards. and this relationship was also significant in the path model. It is noteworthy that permissive and authoritarian are the exact opposite styles when considering dimensions of demandingness and responsiveness. 2008). Judgments and critiques may be frequently voiced. 2004). 2015 . Perceived authoritarian parenting style appears to have detrimental consequences in various areas for high-ability and high-achieving young adults. with more exposure to authoritarian parenting also showing higher levels of perfectionism. The positive correlation between authoritarian style and socially prescribed perfectionism. and authoritarian parenting style and creativity remained. Conditional acceptance by parents results in a child’s thinking pattern of “I am acceptable [to my parents] as long as I can perform well [make good grades. 2006) and provides further evidence for the weaknesses of authoritarian parenting. etc. However. 2001). The negative correlation between authoritarian style and creativity suggests that more perceived exposure to this style is related to lower levels of creativity. Speirs Neumeister & Finch. it may also be that more creative parents tend to be more permissive and are passing on their creative traits biologically to their children. The results of the path model further elaborate on the relationship between these variables. There is also the possibility that because it is virtually impossible to disentangle genetic and environmental influences. related to increases in socially prescribed perfectionism and decreases in creativity. the significant relationships between authoritarian parenting style and socially prescribed perfectionism. Further complicating the relationships between the constructs in the model is the idea of conditional acceptance and the effect it can have on perfectionism. It may also be that the combination of both dimensions is the critical piece in understanding the effect of parenting style on creativity.14 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) generalize to other cultures (Chao. replicates previous research (Speirs Neumeister.

sagepub. & Dalbert. Roberts Gray & Steinberg. 2007) suggests that perceptions of parenting Downloaded from jeg. They could have based responses on their current relationship with their parents or over the course of growing up. given that they had approximately two decades of parenting information to contemplate. This conclusion is further supported by the work of Kelly and Kneipp (2009). and indeed some have found that conscientiousness is a predictor of self-oriented perfectionism (Stoeber. Incorporating this research with the findings of a meta-analysis by Feist (1998) who found that conscientiousness was related to scientific creativity. Perhaps once they become young adults. More research with high-ability and high-achieving populations is needed to further explore potential reasons for this finding. It may be that authoritative is related to the most positive outcomes growing up. It could be that in a subpopulation within a specific domain. as previous research has suggested that parenting styles can differ depending on the SES of the family (Coolahan et al. as only 20% of the students were first-generation college students. 2015 . Duckworth. & Roberts. It may be due to the skewed distribution of the sample. 2009). nor the path model was socially prescribed perfectionism significantly related to overall creativity. such as the one included in this study. Some highly creative gifted young adults may not be perfectionists. However. the participants were retrospectively responding to the instrument. 1983. Gender was another control variable that was included based on previous research. which linked scores on the SCAB to artistic vocational interests. suggesting that this domain-general measure might not be the most precise assessment of nonartistic domains. Although empirical evidence (McGillicuddy-De Lisi & De Lisi. Otto. but does not consistently reflect prior findings. as the literature suggests (Baumrind. a more permissive style is associated with more positive outcomes. or that parenting styles were altered to accommodate the special needs of these children. Although the parenting style measure was written in the present tense. might not fully capture the relationship. one can understand how a domain-general measure of creativity. 2009). particularly for high-ability and high-achieving students who may want the support without the demands.15 Miller et al. Another potential reason for a lack of relationship between perfectionism and creativity in this study may be the conceptualization of creativity from a domaingeneral perspective. It may also be that these socioeconomic differences in parenting style are not found in families with high-ability or highachieving children. There were also some interesting findings based on the inclusion of the control variables of gender and first-generation student status in the path model. or it may be that this finding is not apparent in a high-ability and young adult population. perfectionism might have greater explanatory power when it comes to domain-specific creativity.. or some may be creative despite their perfectionism. Some researchers assert that perfectionism is a facet of the conscientiousness trait (MacCann. 2002). Firstgeneration status was included to account for a potential effect on parenting style.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. This result may be due to the differences in the various facets of perfectionism in the instrument that was used in this study. but is less important to college students. 1999). but not artistic creativity. The age of the sample is an additional piece of information that is important to consider when interpreting the findings of this study. these paths were not significant in the model.

2007). 2008) or slightly favors females on measures of verbal creativity (Rejskind et al. some limitations should also be considered. It could also be that gender differences emerge under certain environmental conditions. as compared with the females. teacher recommendations). but not males’. Perhaps the females in this study were more sensitive to the scientific nature of the research process and felt their responses would be evaluated more severely. but not females. More research is needed to explore gender differences in creativity specifically with high-ability and high-achieving young adult populations. and some measures are more sensitive to these variations than others. Downloaded from jeg. It may be that males and females vary in different types or aspects of creativity. 1992). the paths for gender and socially prescribed perfectionism were not significant in the model. (1995) found that authoritarian parenting style was related to socially prescribed perfectionism in males. Again. Previous research has found that the relationship between creativity and academic achievement is much stronger for males than females (Asha. who show greater variation in creativity. However. Furthermore. Previous research by Flett et al. 2004). 1999. The model showed a significant path coefficient from gender to creativity. the males in the sample may show higher levels of creativity. 2004) did not find evidence for this gender difference. whereas another found differences in the ways that creative males and females (in a sample of engineers and musicians) chose to describe themselves on a self-report measure (Charyton & Snelbecker. suggesting that in our sample. GPA. Limitations Although there are several strengths of this study. However. later research with a sample of gifted college students (Speirs Neumeister. Although this type of research has the advantages of increased sample size and ease of data collection.16 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) style can differ for males and females. A final explanation for this finding could relate to this sample itself. creative production. as compared with a more general sample of college students. 1980). the paths for gender and permissive and authoritarian parenting style were not significant in our model. males had higher levels of creativity than females. It may be that the distinctive experiences of high-ability and highachieving individuals. most studies looking at self-reports of students in higher education suggest that self-reports and actual abilities are positively related (Anaya. this may be true for creativity as well. more research is needed on the family experiences of high-ability and high-achieving students. as a majority of research indicates no gender differences for creativity (Baer & Kaufman. as Baer (1997) found that an expectation of evaluation is detrimental to females’. Because admission to the honors college is based primarily on academic achievement (standardized test scores. One limitation involves the online data collection. Some research suggests that males self-report more positively on other characteristics (Simon & Nath. one must rely completely on self-reported measures. One study found a similar gender difference for flexibility and elaboration. using a divergent thinking test to assess creativity (Ai.sagepub. A significant difference in this direction was not expected. 1999). cancel out the differences between males and females. Hayek.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. which may not always be objective. 2015 ..

the results should be interpreted with caution. In young adults who show a broader range of abilities. something one is exposed to since birth. perfectionism. 2007). Pike. Furthermore. therefore. This study contributes to the understanding of influences on creative thinking for Downloaded from jeg. However. the patterns found in this study may not be reproduced. 2000. & Kuh. and the potential for individual variation requires more investigation of these constructs (Sroufe. There are multiple subjective factors to be considered in emotional development. 1996). 2007). Furthermore. the sample was somewhat homogeneous in terms of age and ethnicity. which can also influence creativity. as parenting and perfectionism may influence achievement levels as well (Nugent. or it could be that the explanatory power of parenting style increases. which suggest that there are many other factors not measured in this study having an influence on the perceived parenting style.sagepub. Carini. there were relatively weak significant correlations and path coefficients. 2006). such as gender and perfectionism. 1996). Research is also needed to explore the complexities of how the thought processes associated with perfectionism and creativity are moderated by characteristics such as gender as well as environmental and cultural experiences. Therefore. 2001. only those students with high ability who are also high achievers could be included in the study. parenting style can have a differential effect. In addition to these limitations. there were no underachievers in our sample. Additional research with more representative samples including high-ability underachievers that incorporate other measures of the same constructs is needed to draw more definitive conclusions. the research is still correlational and causality cannot be confirmed (Trafimow. One should also keep in mind that the parenting style measure was not only self-reported but retrospective. particularly attachment. 2015 . 1995). potential gender and cultural differences are important for consideration in the study of how parenting style can influence development. the importance of creativity for success beyond the classroom cannot be overstated. As we leave the information age and enter the innovation age (Hill. in particular authoritarian and permissive styles.17 Miller et al. Because admission to the honors college was based on high achievement. More research is needed on how parenting style. which could have introduced further error into the precision of the instrument. The pattern of results might differ dramatically for high-ability underachievers. As previous studies have shown. Conclusion The results of this study suggest that parenting styles can have an effect on creativity for high-ability and high-achieving young adults. McGillicuddy-De Lisi & De Lisi. Although complex correlational models such as path analyses can provide richer information than simple bivariate correlations. affects the individual as a young adult in positive and negative ways. these relationships are complicated by other factors. Rimm. depending on certain characteristics of the child and the environmental context (Chao. Findings may not be replicated on samples of young adults at different ability levels. 2002.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. and creativity of the participants. O’Day.

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. 48. 91-104. arts education. Anxiety and thinking styles.004 Tennent.3200/ MONO. engineering education. Creativity: What does it mean in the family context? Journal of Australian Research in Early Childhood Education. the utilization of creativity in educational settings. 47. 132. She is currently the president elect of the Indiana Association for the Gifted and has served on the board of the Council for Exceptional Children–The Association for the Gifted. including the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project and the National Survey of Student Engagement. 2015 .3.132. E. Personality and Individual Differences. Multiplicative invalidity and its application to complex correlational models. Downloaded from jeg. doi:10. Her research interests include gender issues in higher education. IL: Scholastic Testing Service. (2009). (1998). creativity. New York. Perfectionism in high-ability students: Relational precursors and influences on achievement motivation. Trafimow. Gifted Child Quarterly. Personality and Individual Differences. L. & Dalbert. where she directs the licensure program and teaches graduate courses in gifted education. and General Psychology Monographs. and factors impacting gifted student engagement and achievement. Torrance tests of creative thinking: Norms-technical manual figural (Streamlined) forms A and B.. and quantitative reasoning. doi:10. D. (2006). 238-251. K. C. Speirs Neumeister is an associate professor of educational psychology at Ball State University. Miller has a research faculty position at the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University. 47.sagepub. Stoeber. (2004). J. Gifted Child Quarterly. (1996). & Finch. K. Bensenville. Genetic. Factors influencing the development of perfectionism in gifted college students. & Berthelsen. Torrance.com at West Uni from Timisoara on November 24. (2006). Kristie L.215-240 Zhang.1016/j. (1997). Her research interests include creativity assessment. L. doi:10. D.1177/001698620404800402 Speirs Neumeister. doi:10. (2009).. Perfectionism and the big five: Conscientiousness predicts longitudinal increases in self-oriented perfectionism. She does research and data analysis for the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP).paid.1016/j.04. K. 215-239. Amber D. Otto. L. H. where she provides analytic support to several large survey research projects. NY: Cambridge University Press..22 Journal for the Education of the Gifted XX(X) Speirs Neumeister. 347-351. 259-274. 363-368. Emotional development: The organization of emotional life in the early years. doi:10. L.04. 50. A.2009.2009.1177/001698620605000304 Sroufe.paid. Social. Her research interests center on the social and emotional needs of gifted individuals. Lambert is a member of the research analyst team at the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University. 1. P. L.001 Bios Angie L.