Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Impact of Parenting Styles

In an earlier blog, I discussed the varying parenting styles.  Although most of us will adopt some aspects of how we were brought up (unless it was extreme and you are doing everything you can not to repeat the mistakes of your parents), there is still something of value that we can learn from research and what the world of psychology may offer.  Many are reluctant to categorise themselves according to what is written in texts, but in reality, I guess we are all leaning toward one or another when it comes to the differing styles of parenting.  The various styles will obviously carry with them altering effects on one’s child.  Having said that though, research can often be bias to favour one's hypothesis, in this case, that authoritative parenting (one which carries a high level of warmth as well as a high level of control) seems to be the best formula for producing the "ideal" child.   Not only skewed results (potentially), but also the fact that research often overlooks individual differences, placing the findings in doubt and therefore questioning the validity and reliability of those findings.  Some children, no matter the teachings of their parents, may turn out completely dysfunctional under authoritative guidance, whilst another child may thrive in adulthood having experienced permissive or authoritarian parents.  Having acknowledged the pitfalls of research, it may still interest you to see what researchers have found using the three theoretical approaches to parenthood.  So here they are...

Authoritarian parents (those who have a high level of control and a low level of affection and warmth) tend to produce children who are:
  • Withdrawn and fearful in childhood
  • Show little or no independence as children
  • Moody, unassertive and irritable
  • In adolescence, boys tend to overreact to the restrictive environment, often rebelling and becoming more aggressive, whilst girls remain passive and dependent
Permissive parenting, although opposite in style to authoritarian, does not (necessarily) produce the opposite behaviour. Permissive parents have a low level of control and a high level of warmth. This approach tends to produce children who are:
  • Rebellious and, at times, aggressive
  • Self-indulgent
  • Impulsive
  • Socially inept
The opposite seems to be the case for children who have grown up in a home where authoritative (high control, high warmth) parenting is practised.  According to the relevant research, children of authoritative parents seem to be the best adjusted. These children tend to be:
  • Self-reliant, self-controlled, socially competent and tend to go on to have a higher self-esteem over those who have experienced other parenting styles.
Having a daughter who has just turned three, I am still in my infancy when it comes to parenting, and I guess time will tell, but I do strive to be as authoritative as much as possible.  Whilst research does carry some worth, it is also worth bearing in mind that much research has its limitations (as mentioned above), especially considering that psychologists are analysing human beings who have a will of their own and the ability to make meta-cognitive decisions.

Do the descriptions based on research tell us anything?  Perhaps not.  One thing that is for certain though is the importance of a present father.


1 comment

  1. While following different articles, sources, people's point of view. Finally, I came to a conclusion that, we all should have good parenting skills; otherwise our kids are unable to be a good human being in the society. Parenting styles are always different from persons to persons; but, we should take positive steps to improve our parenting style. Here in this article, we learn about the impact of parenting style and hope while implementing, we are able to improve our parenting issues.
    Child Care


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