A parenting style is a method or type of parenting which directly and indirectly influences the development of the child. Developmental psychologists study the physical, cognitive, social, intellectual, perceptual, emotional and personality growth and development that occurs throughout a lifetime. The purpose of this research was to identify how specific parenting styles positively and negatively correlate with behaviors in children, how they affect children, and what methods of parenting could be used to benefit the development of children.
Parenting Styles and Child Development
Developmental psychologists have long been interested in how parents impact their child’s development. However, finding the actual links between the specific actions of parents and the influenced behavior on children is very difficult. Some children that are raised in entirely different environments can later grow up to have remarkably similar personalities. And some children who share a home and are raised in the same environment can grow up to have completely different personalities than one another. Links between parenting styles and behavior are based upon correlational research, which can identify the relationships between variables but cannot establish a definitive cause. However, despite these challenges, researchers have uncovered convincing links between parenting styles and the effects these styles have on children.
In my literature review I will be going over some of those links and the studies that are associated with them. In a study conducted by Alizadeh Shahla, Abu Talib Mansor, Abdullah Rohani and Mansor Mariani, the relationship between parenting style and children’s behavior problems were addressed. The sample in this study consisted of 681 mothers of students in elementary school (levels 3, 4, 5), who were chosen from eight schools In Tehran. Mothers were identified through their children who comprised 347 girls from four schools and 334 boys from four schools chosen by cluster random sampling. The Mothers were given a Children’s Behavioral Checklist (CBCL) Questionnaire and a Parent Authority Questionnaire (PAQ).
The Parent Authority Questionnaire was designed to measure Baumrind‘s threedimensions: Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive. The Children’s Behavioral Checklist included forms to evaluate competency, and affective-behavioral problems. The results of the study indicated that there is a significant correlation between the parenting style of mothers and children’s behavioral problems. The Authoritative level of mothers had a negatively significant correlation with internalizing symptoms in children. The Permissive level of mothers has positive significant correlation with internalizing symptoms in children.
Lastly, the Authoritarian level of mothers had a roughly equal significant correlation with internalizing and externalizing. While the sample size of this study may be large enough to be considered representative of the population, the study itself limited parenting style to factors based only on children’s misbehavior. Many other relevant factors were not taken into consideration, such as age, genetics, economics, peer pressure, parent’s income, society, school, etc. The study also excluded men, only taking data based on the parenting styles presented by women. Moreover, the parents could have responded to the questionnaires in the way the wanted their families to be represented, resulting in false or distorted information. In a study conducted by Önder Fulya and Cenkseven Yilmaz Yasin, the role of life satisfaction and parenting styles in predicting delinquent behaviors among high school students was addressed.
The sample of the study was determined in two phases. At first, the study was conducted with 881students from 9-12 grades attending twelve public high schools in Adana central province, their ages ranged from 14 to 19 years. In the second phase, a total of 502 students were determined to show low level of delinquent behaviors and high level of delinquent behaviors. 243 of students were from 9th grade, 87 from 10th grade, 91 from 11th grade, and 81 from 12th grade. When the parents were examined, 82 of the mothers and 7 of the father were Illiterate, 240 of the mothers and 233 of the fathers were primary school graduates, 73of the mothers and 98 of the fathers were middle school graduates, 72 of the mothers and 107 of the fathers were high school graduates, and 24 of the mothers and 48 of the fathers were university graduates. Researchers had parents of each sample group answer a set of questionnaires, the Delinquency Scale (DS), The Parenting Style Inventory (PSI), and the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS).
The Delinquency Scale (DS), is used to determine behaviors which would be regarded as crime if they reflected and bring adolescent face to face with laws. The Parenting Style Inventory (PSI) is a 26 item scale that has three factors: acceptance/ involvement, strictness/supervision, and psychological autonomy. The Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) is a 40 item self report instrument that assesses satisfaction across five specific life domains: family, school, friends, self and living environment. The researchers concluded that when all test results were considered, satisfaction variables perceived from “strictness/supervision”, “school”, “family” and “self” have a positive correlation and meaningful contributions in explaining the highness of delinquency. While the researchers state that “strictness/supervision”, “school”, “family” and “self” have a positive correlation they are only referring to the 76.3% of the sample groups that tested positive and neglecting the 23.7% that did not. The sample sizes are large but the specifications of the parents in the “delinquent” sample group are too varied and therefore may represent misleading data.
There were many different styles of questionnaires in this study which may be causing the data to become more complex than it needs to be in order to understandable results. In a study conducted by Jabeen Farah, Anis-ul-Haque and Riaz Muhammad Naveed, parenting styles as predictors of emotion regulation among adolescents are addressed. The sample of this study was 194 adolescents ages 12-15, 7th-9th grade from private secondary schools. The students were asked to respond to the Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) and the Early Adolescents Temperament Questionnaire (EATQ). The Parental Authority Questionnaire was designed to measure Baumrind‘s threedimensions: Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive.
The Early Adolescents Temperament Questionnaire is comprised of the subsets, including attention shifting and focusing, inhibitory control, and activation control. Results of the study indicated that maternal permissive parenting style has significant negative correlation with emotional regulation and that paternal permissive parenting style has significant negative correlation with emotional regulation. The sample size is somewhat small due to the fact that data is being taken from a private school, and the fact that the data is coming from a private school in itself does not accurately represent the population as a whole because of the fact that private schools are exclusive.
Furthermore, the parents which correspond with the children of this study are all middle class and have moderate incomes rather than low or high incomes, and children who have single parents were excluded from the study. Also, there still remains the chance that some children may have not answered their questionnaire honestly. In a Longitudinal study conducted by Tong Lian, Shinohara Ryoji, Sugisawa Yuka, Tanaka Emiko, Maruyama Akiko, Sawada Yuko, Ishi Yukiko and Anme Tokie, the relationship of working mothers’ parenting style and consistency to early childhood development was addressed. The sample consisted of 504 participants recruited through 41 care facilities in Japan. Both children and their mothers participated. The mothers were surveyed regarding parenting behaviors and home environment, and service providers evaluated the development of each child in the facilities. Child development was assessed using six primary measures: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social competence, communication skills, vocabulary and intelligence.
Environmental stimulation was evaluated through: human stimulation, avoidance of restriction, social stimulation and support. Each child was evaluated by childcare professionals in 2004 and again in 2006 using developmental scales. Results of the study showed that children’s gross motor development was statistically significantly related to mother’s parenting practices at the beginning of the study. The ages of the children that were included in this study varied, and children with mental disabilities were excluded from the study entirely. The study addresses a “working mother’s” relationship but feels that it is perhaps unnecessary to consider the implications of a working father’s parenting style, or for that matter, the father’s influence on the child at all. Also the study could be conducted longer than 2 years for more insightful results. In a study conducted by Parsasirat Zahra, Montazeri Mona, Yusooff Fatimah, Subhi Nasrudin and Nen Salina, the most effective kinds of parents on children’s academic achievement are addressed. The sample included Iranian high school students who were between the ages 15 to 17.
The total numbers of participants were 546 who included 249 males and 297 females. They were given two questioners, Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ), and a self-demographic report which included their current Grade Point Average. Results showed that neither mother authoritative parenting, nor father authoritative parenting was significantly correlated with academic achievement and that neither mother authoritarian parenting, nor father authoritarian parenting was significantly correlated with academic achievement. However, it did illustrate that both mother permissive parenting, as well as father authoritative parenting were significantly correlated with academic achievement.
The age groups tested by the study were between fifteen to seventeen, so an assumption that similar correlations would be applicable to all other age groups of children will not have any definite proof. The data relies on the honesty of the participants and so data is not for certain conclusive evidence. There are many different factors to parental styles that influence children’s behavior. And while the definitive links between parenting styles and behavior may be unknown, correlational research has been able to make the parental styles which establish those links to become clearer to us.
Through my research I have gathered that there are specific parental styles that positively and negatively correlate with behaviors in children. That strictness can manage delinquency, that permissive parenting can correct behavioral problems, or that perhaps authoritative parenting can help children in academics when paired with permissive. I have also noticed that the Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) is generally a good questionnaire as it is frequently used.
Alizadeh, Abu, Abdullah, and Mansor (2011). Relationship between parenting style and children’s behavior problems. doi:10.5539/ass.v7n12p195 Jabeen, Anis, and Riaz (2013). Parenting styles as predictors of emotion regulation among adolescents. Önder and Cenkseven (2012). The role of life satisfaction and parenting styles in predicting delinquent behaviors among high school students. Parsasirat, Montazeri, Yusooff, Subhi, and Nen (2013). The most effective kinds of parents on children’s academic achievement. Tong, Shinohara, Sugisawa, Tanaka, Maruyama, Sawada, Ishi, and Anme (2009). Relationship of working mothers’ parenting style and consistency to early childhood development. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05058.x