Q5. Parenting stylesA parenting style is a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. The quality of parenting is far more essential than the quantity of time spent with the child. Parenting styles are the representation of how parents respond and demand to their children.
Some potential causes of these differences include culture, personality, family size, parental background, socioeconomic status, educational level, and religion.
During the early 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool-age children (Baumrind, 1967). Using naturalistic observation, parental interviews and other research methods, she identified four important dimensions of parenting: Disciplinary strategies, Warmth and nurturance, Communication styles and Expectations of maturity and control.
Based on these dimensions, Baumrind suggested that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles. Maccoby and Martin suggested the addition of a fourth parenting style (1983).
The Four Parenting Styles
- Authoritarian Parenting: According to Baumrind, these parents "are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation" (1991). Failure to follow such rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents fail to explain the reasoning behind these rules.
- Authoritative Parenting: Baumrind suggests that these parents "monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative" (1991).
- Permissive Indulgent Parenting: According to Baumrind, permissive parents "are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation" (1991). They often take on the status of a friend more than that of a parent.
- Permissive Uninvolved Parenting: It is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. While these parents fulfill the child's basic needs, they are generally detached from their child's life. In extreme cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children.
Impact of Parenting Styles
• Authoritarian: lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem.
• Authoritative: results in children who are happy, capable and successful (Maccoby, 1992).
• Permissive: results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.
• Uninvolved: rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers.
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A parenting style is a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. They are associated with different child outcomes. However, other important factors including culture, children's perceptions of parental treatment, and social influences also play an important role in children's behavior. "There is no universally "best" style of parenting," writes author Douglas Bernstein.
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