Be(com)ing Social: Daily-Life Social Interactions and Parental Bonding

Robin Achterhof*, Maude Schneider, Olivia J. Kirtley, Martien Wampers, Jeroen Decoster, Catherine Derom, Marc De Hert, Sinan Guloksuz, Nele Jacobs, Claudia Menne-Lothmann, Bart P.F. Rutten, Evert Thiery, Jim van Os, Ruud van Winkel, Marieke Wichers, Inez Myin-Germeys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Parents are known to provide a lasting basis for their children’s social development. Understanding parent-driven socialization is particularly relevant in adolescence, as an increasing social independence is developed. However, the relationship between key parenting styles of care and control and the microlevel expression of daily-life social interactions has been insufficiently studied. Adolescent and young adult twins and their nontwin siblings (N = 635; mean age = 16.6; age range = 14.2–21.9; 58.6% female; 79.5% in or having completed higher secondary/tertiary education; 2.8% speaking language other than Dutch at home) completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) on parental care and control. Participants also completed a 6-day experience sampling period (10 daily beeps, mean compliance = 68.0%) to assess daily-life social interactions. Higher overall parental bonding quality (of both parents) related to more positive social experiences in daily life (e.g., belonging in company), but not to more social behaviors (e.g., being with others). Factor analysis indicated a three-factor structure of the PBI, with care, denial of psychological autonomy, and encouragement of behavioral freedom. Paternal care was uniquely predictive of better social experiences. These findings demonstrate how parenting styles may be uniquely associated with how adolescents experience their social world, with a potentially important role for fathers in particular. This complements the long-held idea of socialization through parenting by bringing it into the context of daily life and implies how both conceptualizations of social functioning and interventions aimed at alleviating social dysfunction might benefit from a stronger consideration of day-to-day social experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-805
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Adolescence
  • Experience sampling method
  • Parenting style
  • Social functioning
  • Socialization


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