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Parenting Styles Essay

Researchers have studied parenting styles extensively. Many studies have aimed to find a greater connection that shows the impact of each parenting style on the development of the child and how its influence in various aspects of life including self-confidence, self-esteem, academic achievement, and personality. This study used previous empirical research to examine the various impacts of parenting styles on children’s developmental processes. This study begins with a review of the classical studies of Baumrind (1991) and Maccoby (2000). Maccoby used 12 scholarly articles published between 2007 and 2013. Many of the findings in the research support the notion that the authoritative parenting style is the most advantageous in child development.

Parenting Styles and their Impact on Child Development

Developmental psychologists are interested in comprehending how parents influence their children’s development. However, many of these psychologists have not yet found an actual cause and effect connection between the actions of parents and children’s behaviors. In various cases, researchers have observed that even children who are raised in drastically different environments grew up to have personalities that are very similar to one another.

On the other hand, children who share a home and are raised in similar environments often grow up with extremely different personalities from one another. While this counterintuitive phenomenon exists, researchers have uncovered many connections between parenting styles and their effects on children. The effects of parenting styles on children were examined to determine whether parents have a significant impact on their children’s development. It is widely accepted from layman science that children learn many aspects and acquire many of their personality traits from their social lives and the environments in which they are brought up.

The question that lingers is exactly how much parents actually influence their children in terms of genetics compared to their development after birth and throughout childhood? Psychologists agree that a child’s learning curve is partially based on the timetable at which development begins and is
defined as how fast an infant learns to walk and talk, and progress through other developmental milestones. Society has made it the parents’ responsibility to develop their children according to the standards, morals, and values within each society.

This responsibility includes teaching the children how to behave while at home, around friends and family, and while in public. Society expects children to act in a specific way, which may include not pestering their parents, behaving in an appropriate manner in public, and participating in household chores. However, the outcome of a child acting in such a way depends on how the parents have fostered these ideas within the child, which is a determinate to the growth and development of the child’s personality.

A child’s development does not only depend on the environment and parenting styles involved. To some extent, predispositions such as genetics are also potential factors that can significantly impact growth and development of the child. This study used the classical works of Baumrind (1991), Maccoby (2000), and Martin as a framework upon which further research concerning this topic can be carried out. A thorough discussion of the work of these researchers provides the opportunity to draw conclusions in which to answer the following question: To what extent does parenting style impact on child development? Materials and Methods

This research did not use an experimental study; rather, it is classified as a qualitative analysis in which a review of literature was conducted to draw conclusions on the research topic. Therefore, this study is more of a literature review in which previous works on the impact of parent styles on child development are discussed.

For example, this study scrutinizes the works of Maccoby (2000) who obtained data from other studies and analyzed it to her specifications. Maccoby assessed several studies and found that the methods used include observations on child-parent interactions, interview, and reviews of various records of participants. This study used a minimum of 12 scholarly articles been published in the last 5 to 6 years using an empirical research method. This review allowed the researcher to make recommendations, based on recent research, on best practices in assessing the significance of parenting styles on child development.

This study used only experimental studies to provide a basis of legitimacy based observed data. Before recent research is assessed, a background of this topic is established by summarizing the classical works of Baumrind (1991), Maccoby, and Martin. Difference between Parenting Style and Practice

Before the works of researchers are discussed, it is important to highlight the difference between parenting styles and parenting practices. According to Spera (2005), it is essential and imperative to comprehend the difference between parenting styles and parenting practices. Spera noted that parenting practices is defined as specific behaviors use to socialize with their children. An example of such socialization is when parents sit down with their children to guide them with their homework or when they set aside a specific time for reading or making school a top priority by attending school events such as parent-teacher conferences.

These actions show that parents have a desire for their children to do well in school. On the other hand, parenting style is more of a characterization of the emotional climate that surrounds in the environment in which parents rear their children. According to Baumrind (1991), parenting styles can be characterized over several dimensions in which parental responsiveness and demand is asserted on the child. Baumrind, Maccoby, & Martin: Theories of Parenting Styles and Child Rearing Baumrind (1966) developed a theory on parenting styles that proposed that parents fall into one of three categories of parenting styles, authoritarian, indulgent, or authoritative.

Baumrind later expanded this theory and included a fourth parenting style known as negligent. The typologies of Baumrind’s parenting styles were concluded after conducting extensive research using interviews and observations with parents and children. Participants included 32 middle class white families who were observed in a nursery school setting.

The methods of naturalistic observation, parent interviews, and other research methods resulted in four important dimensions of parenting, disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication style, and expectations of maturity and control. Baumrind’s (1966) parenting styles included authoritarian, authoritative, indulgent/permissive, and negligent/uninvolved. The proposed parenting styles have different consequences on children regarding competence and development based on social and cognitive traits. Additionally, each style differs in terms of behaviors, standards, and values that parents expect their children to adopt. Authoritarian Parenting

Under the authoritarian parenting style, children are expected to follow a strict set of rules established by the parents. If the child fails to follow these rules, the parents will administer some sort of punishment. Observations suggest that parents who use this parenting style tend to fail when it comes to explaining the reason(s) behind their rules. When parents were asked to explain the reason(s) behind rules, the most common answer was, “I said so, that’s why.” These parents also tend to have high demands but are not very responsive of their children. According to Baumrind (1966), these parents tend to be obedience- and status-oriented, and they expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation. Authoritative Parenting

The authoritative parenting style is similar to authoritarian as parents who operate under this style also have established rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this style differs in that it is more democratic in the sense that authoritative parents respond to their children and are willing to listen to questions that the children might have.

For example, if a child were to fail to meet any of the established expectations, these parents would be more nurturing and forgiving, rather than simply administering a punishment. According to Baumrind (1966; 1991), these parents tend to monitor and impart clear standards concerning conduct and behavior. Additionally, these parents are not assertive but may be more intrusive and restrictive. The disciplinary methods of the parents are more supportive as they want their children to be assertive, socially responsible, self-regulated, and cooperative. Indulgent/Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents tend to make very few demands on their children. These parents are known to rarely discipline their children because of their low expectations of maturity and self-control. These parents are also more responsive than they are demanding, and they are considered nontraditional and lenient. Parents known to use this style do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and tend to avoid confrontation. These parents are also nurturing and communicative with their children, and they are usually found taking the status of a friend rather than a parent. Negligent/Uninvolved Parenting

Negligent or uninvolved parents tend to have very few to no demands, low responsiveness, and very little to no communication. These parents fulfill the basic needs of their children; however, they are very much detached from their children’s lives. Observed in extreme cases of negligent parenting, these parents might even reject or neglect the needs of their children. Baumrind’s (1966) initial study of child development has led other researchers to conduct studies to elaborate on this work.

Maccoby (2000) found some impact of these parenting styles on children’s development. Maccoby’s work extended the research on the influence of parenting style and that of the genetic makeup of the child, which she proposed effects behavioral characteristics. Maccoby also proposed that genetics also influences the way in which parents treat their children. Maccoby (2000) used twin and adoption studies to provide a logical basis to estimate the strength of genetic effects.

Her study found that heritability estimates for a given trait vary widely. Maccoby argued that basing assumptions on the strength of genetic factors were not enough because they are not sufficient to develop a basis to make such estimations because of additional environmental factors that are involved. If researchers make these assumptions, they will systematically underestimate parenting effects. Maccoby believed and established that children’s genetic predispositions and their parent’s parenting style are interconnected and that they function, which results in the overall effect of a child’s development. According to the studies conducted by Maccoby, each parenting style as the following influences on children:

1. Authoritarian parenting. This parenting style leads children to be very obedient and proficient. However, they will end up ranking lower in the amount of happiness, social competence, and self-esteem. 2. Authoritative parenting. Parents, who raise their children using this style, have children who are happier, capable, and successful individuals. 3. Permissive/Indulgent. Parents with this style of parenting will have children with low amounts of happiness and self-regulation.

These children also have significant problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school. 4. Negligible/Uninvolved. Parents who use this style of parenting have children who rank the lowest across almost all domains of life. Many of these children demonstrate a lack of self-control, low self-esteem, and are known to be less competent than their peers.

Many researchers agree that the authoritative parenting style is the most advantageous of all the parenting styles. When children comprehend and perceive their parents’ requests to be reasonable and fair, they are more likely to conducting themselves according to those requests (Bernstein, 2011). Another reason for the successfulness of this parenting style is that children are more likely to accept the rationale for behavior as their own, which results in a greater amount of self-control (Bernstein, 2011). Recent Studies

Many recent studies have been conducted on the effects of parenting styles on the development of children. Such research has focused on the effects parenting styles have on in regards to academic performance and level of education. Hernandez (2013) examined the impact of parenting styles on self-efficacy and level of education among Latinos.

The study included 199 participants who ranged in age from 25 to 79. The researcher used a correlational method to configure the effects of parenting. Hernandez found a positive correlation between the level of education of both parents and participants’ levels of education. Rinaldi and Howe (2012) found those mothers’ and fathers’ self-reported parenting styles explained 44% of the variance found among youngsters’ externalizing behaviors. Their study included 59 families with children aged 32 months.

Recent studies have also shown that children’s externalizing behaviors are negatively and moderately associated with fathers’ authoritative styles, and positively associated with fathers’ authoritarian styles. Additionally, studies have shown that children’s internalizing behaviors are positively correlation with fathers’ authoritarian style of parenting (Schary, Cardinal, & Loprinizi, 2012a; 2012b, & Loprinizi, Schary, Beets, Leary, & Cardinal, 2013). Recent studies have found connections between parenting styles and child development, specifically, on school achievement. Kordi and Baharudin (2010) reviewed empirical studies on school-related achievements. The researchers found that the authoritative parenting style was highly associated with higher levels of school achievement.

However, Kordi and Baharudin noted that these findings are inconsistent between cultures and across various societies. Cramer (2002) examines the relationship between parenting styles and classroom motivation.

The researcher found that mothers’ authoritative parenting was positively correlated with first graders’ mastery of concepts in motivation. Based on this finding, Cramer suggested that authoritative parenting leads to higher levels of intrinsic motivation. Conversely, fathers’ authoritarian parenting was significantly and positively correlated with first and third graders’ motivation and teachers’ perceptions of children’s classroom motivation (Cramer, 2002). Hong (2012) also expanded on Baumrind’s (1966; 1991) parenting styles and their effects on the children’s schooling. She examined the ways in which parenting style impacted child’s behavior and found that the influence yielded predictive effects on children’s academic achievements.

Hong (2012) also found a correlation between parenting style and children’s behaviors, which eventually defines their academic achievements. The researcher also found that child’s academic achievement is a result of the mix between parenting style and parenting practices they exert in the child’s environment. Conclusion

Although significant research has been conducted to find connections between parenting style and child development, more effort is needed to find an exact cause and effect relationship between these two variables.

Through various studies were reviewed here, it seems that the authoritative parenting style produces the most advantageous and positive impacts on a child’s development and academic achievement. Exactly to what extent this parenting style has on children needs further study. To understand the extent of the influence of parenting styles better, the inclusion of parenting practices also need to be considered. Such research can be used to create practices for parents to follow, to aid their children in becoming fully developed adults and influence their development in a positive way. References

Baumrind, D. (1966). Effects of authoritative parental control on child behavior. Child Development, 37(4), 887-907. Baumrind, D. (1991). The
influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11, 56-95. Bernstein, D. A. (2011). Essentials of psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Cramer, K. E. (2002). The influences of parenting style on children’s classroom motivation. Retrieved from http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-0712102-125121/unrestricted /Cramer_thesis.pdf

Hernandez, M. (2013). The impact of parenting styles on Latinos’ level of education and self-efficacy. Retrieved from http://gradworks.umi.com/1522577.pdf Hong, E. (2012). Impacts of parenting on children’s schooling. Journal of Student Engagement: Education Matters, 2, 36-41. Kordi, A., & Baharudin, R. (2010). Parenting attitude and style and its effect on children’s school achievements. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 2, 217-222. Loprinizi, P. D., Schary, D. P., Beets, M. W., Leary, J., & Cardinal, B. J. (2012). Association between hypothesized parental influences and preschool children’s physical activity behavior. American Journal of Health Education, 4, 9-18. doi:10.1080/19325037 .2012.749685

Maccoby, E. E. (2000). Parenting and its effects on children: On reading and misreading behavior genetics. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, p. 1-27. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych .51.1.1

Rinaldi, C. M. & Howe, N. (2012). Mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles and association with toddlers’ externalizing, internalizing, and adaptive behaviors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(2), 266-273. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.08.001 Schary, D. P., Cardinal, B. J. & Loprinizi, P. D. (2012a). Parenting style associated with sedentary behavior in preschool children. Early Child Development and Care, 182(8), 1015-1026. doi:10.1080/03004430.2012.678596 Schary, D. P., Cardinal, B. J. & Loprinizi, P. D. (2012b). Parental support exceeds parenting style for promoting active play in preschool children. Early Child Development and Care, 182, 1057-1069. doi:10.1080/03004430.2012.685622 Spera, C. (2005). A review of the relationship among parenting practice, parenting styles, and adolescent school achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 17, 125-146. doi:10.1007/s10648-005-3950-1

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