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Attachment and Parenting Styles Essay

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Everyone has had some type of caregiver some point in his or her life. The only difference is the type of method used for parenting. “Parenting styles have been grouped into four different styles: indulgent, authoritarian, authoritative, and uninvolved” (Darling & Eric, 1999. para. 3). With each kind of parenting style, there are pros and cons that help or disrupt a child’s well-being. Parents should make sure the type of parenting style they expose their child to will be positive and not negatively affect the child.

A negative impact could hinder a child’s current behavior and future behavior.

Parenting Styles

The authoritarian approach provides children with a set of rules that must be followed without questioning. There is a “do as I say not as I do” attitude. The authoritarian parenting style is the stricter style. According to the textbook, “The authoritarian child-rearing style is low in acceptance and involvement, high in coercive control, and low in autonomy granting” (Berk, 2010, pg.

279). Parents who use this method set strict limits and show little or no love appearing to be cold. If a child resists the parent, the parent will result into a forceful punishment. It is not uncommon for a parent with this approach to shame, blame, punish, and tease his or her child.

The most common reason for parents using this method is that they do not want their children to become failures. The uninvolved approach rejects and neglects a child. According to the textbook, “the uninvolved child-rearing style combines low acceptance and involvement with little control and general indifference to issues of autonomy” (Berk, 2010, pg. 280). A parent will usually make few to no demands from the child. It is not uncommon for a parent to be overcome with his or her life that he or she express’s little or no interest in the child causing neglecting. A child who is around this type of atmosphere may have several problems that include antisocial behavior and developing a low self-esteem. It is possible for a parent to focus on his or her own problems that they do not realize how separate he or she is with the child and the lack of emotional support given.

Types of Attachments

A child who may have a parent whose parenting style is authoritarian may have a resistant attachment. “Resistant attachment affects about 10 percent of infants” (Machteld, 2011, para. 7). With resistant attachment a child is likely to be clingy, angry, and distressed. A child may cry for longer periods and cannot feel comfort as easily as other children.

An uninvolved parent may have a child who expresses avoidant attachment. “This attachment affects about 15 percent of infants” (Machteld, 2011, para. 9). During this attachment a child may show a lack of interest when the parent is around. He or she will not be distraught when the parent leaves. They are not going to be clingy and will treat strangers the same as they do his or her parents.

The reasons for choosing these attachments are because they go hand-in-hand with the type of parenting styles chosen. If a child has a parent with the authoritarian style of parenting he or she is likely to go through the resistant attachment. A child who has a parent uninvolved is likely to go through the avoidant attachment. Each type of parenting style will have a different type of attachment.

Culture Impact and Examples

Different cultures vary in the way they raise children and what is thought to be the right or wrong way. Culture can play a role in the impact of raising a child. What may be satisfactory in one culture may be wrong in another. The textbook provides several examples of culture impact and attachment patterns. “German infants show considerably more avoidant attachment than American babies do. But German parents value independence and encourage their infants to be non-clingy” (Berk, 2010. pg. 199).

In one culture independence is encouraged and a child with avoidant attachment is not seen as a negative impact. In another culture a parent may believe this attachment is neglectful and not want his or her child to express this type of attachment. “Infants in Africa showed no avoidant attachment to their mothers. Even when grandmothers are the primary caregivers” (Berk, 2010. pg. 199). It is common for a Japanese baby to show resistant attachment. This is not because of any insecurity, but because a Japanese mother will normally not leave her child in anyone else’s care. Japanese parents see this as normal.


Each parent must figure out which type of parenting style works best for him or her. The type of parenting style not only affects the parent but also the child. As a responsible parent it is his or her job to make sure that the obstacles of everyday life does not hinder him or her from being a good parent. With the authoritarian style or uninvolved style a child will be shown and acquire his or her morals. It is not right to neglect or over discipline a child. A parent can be strict and loving at the same time. A child needs to have both discipline and love to be well-rounded. Too much discipline can force a child to have problems just as neglecting a child will also. There has to be a middle where the parent can realize when enough is enough.


Berk, L. E. (2010). Development through the lifespan. (5th ed., pp. 119-215). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Darling, N., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, C. L. (1999). Parenting Style and Its Correlates. ERIC Digest.

Machteld, Hoeve (2011). Maternal and paternal parenting styles: Unique and combined links to adolescent and early adult delinquency. Journal of Adolescence, 34813-827. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.02.004

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