Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Flexibility in the Relationship Between Parenting and Subjective Well-Being

Chih Wen Wu, Wei Wen Chen*, Chun Hui Jen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Although ample evidence exists that parenting is associated with children’s subjective well-being, researchers have not yet empirically examined the potential mechanism of this relationship. In this study, we consider emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility as crucial capacities that could mediate the relationships between various parenting strategies (e.g., authoritative and authoritarian parenting) and young adults’ well-being (e.g., a high level of life satisfaction and lower levels of mental disorders). We collected survey data from 439 Taiwanese young adults aged 18 through 24. Via structural equation modeling analysis, we found that (a) authoritative parenting positively relates to young adults’ life satisfaction and negatively relates to their mental disorders, whereas authoritarian parenting positively relates to their mental disorders; (b) emotional intelligence mediates the relationship between authoritative parenting and young adults’ life satisfaction; and (c) cognitive flexibility mediates the relationship between authoritative and authoritarian parenting and young adults’ mental disorders. These results highlight the importance of democratic, warm, and responsive parenting that helps shape young adults’ cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence, and subjective well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adult Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun


  • Authoritarian parenting
  • Authoritative parenting
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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