Sunday, November 18, 2012

Parenting Styles


Authoritarian parents have high standards for their children's behavior; they are strict and may use excessive punishment. They tend to communicate less and are more dictatorial than other parenting styles. These parents hold children to inappropriately high standards, show little affection toward them, and have no use for children's opinions. They may seem detached and aloof, and although they love their children, it may not be readily apparent (Baumrind, 1971). This parenting style tends to cause children to develop into obedient and quiet children, although they may be unhappy and carry excessive amounts of guilt and suffer from lifelong depression (Santrock, 2008) They may have a difficult time expressing negative emotions and have lover self-esteem (Berger, 2008).


Indulgent (or permissive) parenting is far less demanding than other parenting styles Baumrind (1971). Parents have lower expectations for their children because they fail to see their level of maturity accurately (Santrock, 2008). Indulgent parents are warm, loving, and accepting, and value their children's opinions. They provide few boundaries and consider themselves friends to their children. Baumrind (1971) found this parenting style fosters children who were unhappy and had a difficult time developing and maintaining healthy relationships with peers. Furthermore, these children may have difficulty in managing their emotions, which continues to challenge them throughout adulthood (Santrock, 2008). Because they have difficulty maintaining relationships, they may experience excessive unhappiness and isolation (Baumrind, 1971).


Authoritative parents create rules and boundaries for children, but they respect, and value communication with them (Santrock, 2008). They have reasonable expectations regarding behavior and do not mete out excessive punishment (Baumrind, 1983). Parents guide rather than reign over their children and do not consider themselves friends to their children. This style fosters self-respect, self-esteem and confidence, and an appreciation of the opinions of others (Baumrind, 1983). Furthermore, it may be somewhat protective against substance abuse (Gfroerer, Kern, Curlette,White, & Jonyniene, 2011). Children raised in this style may be appreciated in individualist cultures, wherein initiative and distinct character is valued (Baumrind, 1971). It also teaches children appropriate communication and the value of expression as well as respect for the opinions of others (Darling & Steinberg, 1993). The appropriateness of this parenting style provides children with fluid social abilities (Baumrind, 1971; Gfroerer, et al., 2011).

Neglectful parents have little involvement with their children, which leads the children to believe they are unimportant (Santrock, 2008). They tend to be socially inept, have little self-control and fail to develop a sense of autonomy. They lack self-esteem, may isolate themselves from their families (Santrock, 2008), and had more psychological and behavioral issues (Milevsky, Schlechter, & Netter, 2007). Additionally, during adolescence, they may have a tendency toward delinquent behavior (Santrock, 2008).

Long-Term Effects

Parenting style has a significant effect on children, and these effects become foundational in their worldview as adults (Baumrind, 1971). Social interaction, which certainly includes familial relations, directly affects biological, and more specifically, neural changes that become an inherent part of their cognitive capacity that forms the basis for future cognitive processing and lifelong learning (Baumrind, 1971).

Cultural Differences
Although cultures set norms and expectations regarding parenting, even within cultures, various styles of parenting exists (Darling & Steinberg, 1993), but the basic hypothesis that parents influence children's development is accepted cross culturally. "Socialization is an adult-initiated process by which developing children, through insight, training, and imitation, acquire the habits and values congruent with adaptation to their culture" (Baumrind, 1980; p. 640, taken from Baumrind, 1983, p. 134).  


Baumrind, D. (1971). Current patterns of parental authority. Developmental Psychology, 4(1, Pt.2), 1-103. doi: 10.1037/h0030372

Baumrind, D. (1983). Rejoinder to Lewis's reinterpretation of parental firm control effects: Are authoritative families really harmonious? Psychological Bulletin, 94(1), 132-142. doi: 10.1037//0033-2909.94.1.132

Berger, K. S. (2008). The developing person through the life span (7th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.

Darling, N., & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 113(3), 487-496. doi: 10.1037//0033-2909.113.3.487

Gfroerer, K. P., Kern. R. M. Curlette. W. L., White, J. & Jonyniene, J. (2011). Parenting styles and personality: Perceptions of mothers, fathers, and adolescents. The Journal of Individual Psychology, 67(1), 57–73.

Milevsky, A., Schlechter, M., & Netter, S. (2007). Maternal and paternal parenting styles in adolescents: Associations with self-esteem, depression and lifesatisfaction. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16(1), 39–47. doi: 10.1007/s10826-006-9066-5

Santrock, J. W. (2008). A topical approach to life-span development (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Cote, L. R., & Bornstein, M. H. (2009). Child and mother play in three U. S. cultural groups: Comparisons and associations. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(3), 355–363.

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