Critical thinking disposition has often been discussed in relation to school education. However, in light of previous research, it may be argued that family environment also affects critical thinking dispositions through its effect on self-esteem. The present cross-sectional study involved 284 Japanese university students (197 females, 87 males, M = 20.42 years, SD = 2.04, range = 18–29 years). Using questionnaires, the researchers examined the association between critical thinking disposition, self-esteem, and the parental rearing styles practiced before the students reached 16 years of age. The results showed that the optimal bonding parental rearing style was associated with higher critical thinking dispositions than affectionate constraint and absent bonding. In addition, positive self-esteem was a mediating factor in the path from parental care to critical thinking disposition. These findings provide the first evidence regarding the pathway from parental rearing to critical thinking disposition.
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