By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.
In psychological research, “parental warmth” is an important concept related to the quality of a parent-child relationship. Studies have shown that the presence of parental warmth is associated with a variety of positive outcomes including improved self-esteem, lower rates of teen pregnancy and underage drinking, lower delinquency rates, better parent-child communication, and greater college adjustment. Parental warmth seems to be a good thing. So what is it? And why should we try to get more of it into our relationships with our children?