Parenting Styles and Their Effects

The parenting styles commonly used based on the work of Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, in the 1960s.

According to Baumrind’s theory, there is a close relationship between the type of parenting style and children’s behavior. Different parenting styles can lead to different child development and their consequences.

Based on extensive observation, interviews, and analyses, by Baumrind and later studies in the 1980s by Maccoby and Martin there are four parenting styles.

  1. Authoritative
  2. Authoritarian (or Disciplinarian)
  3. Permissive (or Indulgent)
  4. Neglectful (or Uninvolved)

Authoritative Parenting outcome is high demandingness and high responsiveness. In this kind of parenting, these parents provide their kids with reasoning and explanation for their actions. Explanations allow children to have a sense of awareness and teach kids about values, morals, and goals. For this, the parents set rules and impose boundaries by having an open discussion, providing guidance, and using reasoning.

Authoritarian Parenting outcome is high demandingness and low responsiveness. In this kind of parenting, these parents use strict discipline and often use harsh punishment, such as physical punishment, as a way to control children’s behavior. Their disciplinary methods are strong. Authoritarian parents are unresponsive to their children’s needs and are generally not developmental. They usually justify their mean treatment of their kids as strong love, but it will lead to negative effects. They only allow one-way communication through rules and orders.

Permissive Parenting (Indulgent) outcome is low demandingness, high responsiveness. Permissive parents set very few rules and restrictions and they are keen to impose rules. These indulgent parents are warm and kind but they do not like to say no or disappoint their children. This system tends to have the worst outcomes such as verse self-control and encounter more problems in relationships and social interactions.

Neglectful Parenting (Uninvolved) outcome is low demandingness and low responsiveness. Neglectful parents do not set steady boundaries or high standards. They are indifferent to their children’s needs and never involved in their lives, which will create suicidal behavior in adolescents. These uninvolved parents may have mental issues themselves such as depression, or physical abuse, or child neglect when they were kids.

From the studies conducted for decades, the experts found that the most effective parenting is authoritative parenting. This classification of parenting styles has been studied for over 25 years in different countries. But there may also some inconsistencies and exceptions in some areas. For example, in some parts of Asia and some parts of America, authoritarian parenting seems better than authoritative parenting in their academic performance.

Authoritative parenting is still the parenting style of choice recommended by experts.


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