Parenting Styles Essay, Research Paper
Being a parent can be one of the most difficult jobs a person will ever have. It may be especially challenging when the child is in their adolescent years. Most parents want their children to become independent, productive and able to cope with the world. The older methods of parenting do not work in today’s society. Teenagers, like everyone else, want to be treated with respect and seen as individuals with there own ideas. “Baumrind’s seminal work on the classification of parenting styles has profoundly influenced research on parenting and its effects on children” (Brenner and Fox, 1999 p.1). “Baumrind found that there are four different types of parenting styles: authoritarian-parents who are punitive and focus on gaining a child’s obedience to parental demands rather than responding to the demands of the child; permissive-parents who are more responsive to their children but do not set appropriate limits on their behavior; authoritative-parenting who are flexible and responsive to the child’s needs but still enforce reasonable standards of conduct; and neglecting-parents who are under involved with their children and respond minimally to either the child’s needs or the child’s behavior”(Brenner and Fox, 1999, p.1). “Parenting style is defined as a stable complex of attitudes and beliefs that form the context in which parenting behaviors occur” (Brenner and Fox, 1999 p.1). Brenner et al. (1999) found certain factors lead to distinct parental practices, such as marital satisfaction, beliefs about discipline, parental abuse history, parental depression, level of spousal support (Simmons, Beaman, Conger, & Chao, 1993), maternal age and education (Kelley, Power, & Wimbush, 1992), and economic stress (Takeuchi, Williams, & Adair, 1991).
The correlation between parenting styles and parenting practices is an important one, which can effect the outcome of the children (Brenner and Fox, 1999 p.1). Brenner et al. (1999) reported that certain parenting practices relate to certain parenting styles. The first cluster of results did not relate to any of Baumrind’s parenting style, due to the fact that parenting style research has often omitted parents who fall in the middle ranges of classification variables (Brenner and Fox, 1999). The second cluster, whose mothers were found to have low to moderate discipline, be high nurturing, and have high expectations, were related to the authoritative parenting style (Brenner and Fox, 1999). Brenner et al. (1999) found that the permissive parenting style was related to the third cluster whose mothers were found to have a combination of low discipline, high nurturing, and low expectations for their children. The last correlation was found to connect cluster four with authoritarian parenting style (Brenner and Fox, 1999). Brenner et al. (1999) reported mothers of cluster four were found to have very high levels of discipline, be low nurturing, and have moderate to high expectations. Brenner et al. (1999) reported no correlation was found for the neglectful parenting style, do to insufficient numbers of neglectful parents.
Studies have shown consistently, that self-esteem has demonstrated to be related with parenting styles (Herz and Gullone, 1999). “Self-esteem, defined as the extent to which an individual believes himself or herself to be capable, significant, successful, and worthy (Coopersmith, 1981), consistently has been found to relate with psychological well being” (Herz and Gullone, 1999 p.1). Herz et al. (1999) reports, with the relation to Baumrind’s parenting styles, research consistently has demonstrated that the less desirable parenting styles, such as neglectful and authoritarian, to be the most predictive of low self-esteem in adolescents. “In contrast, the authoritative parenting style has been found to be the most predictive of healthy self-esteem levels” (Herz and Gullone, 1999 p.2). Herz et al. (1999) reports it is important to remember to take into account the culture the adolescent comes from when relating parenting style to self-esteem. Herz et al. (1999) reports that some cultures are different in what they revere as the best parenting style. An example of this is “the adolescent may accept overprotective parenting styles as necessary for family harmony and for demonstrating filial piety” (Herz and Gullone, 1999 p.9).
The study did by Walker and Henning (1999) “revealed that parenting style is influential in children’s moral development” (p.5). Walker et al. (1999) found that parental hostility and conflict disrupted children’s moral development and those children needed to have parental support and encouragement to facilitate moral development. “The concordant findings from two studies provide clear evidence that the nature of parents’ interactions, ego functioning, and moral reasoning are predictive of children’s moral development” (Walker and Henning, 1999 p.8). Walker and Henning (1999) found that “Parents who engage in cognitively challenging and highly opinionated interactions, who are hostile, critical, and interfering, and who display poor ego functioning (defensiveness, rigidity, rationalizations, insensitivity, inappropriate emotional expression) provide a context that hinders children’s opportunities to move toward more mature moral understandings”(p.8). Walker et al. (1999) found that parents who show more support and attentiveness, and are more children centered, could be effective in positive moral reasoning.
According to Herz and Gullone (1999) “authoritative parenting is documented as being the optimal parenting style with regard to child outcomes” (p.2). Roberts and Steinberg’s (1999) “investigation provides evidence that three of authoritative parenting central features-parental involvement, behavior control, and autonomy granting- contribute in unique and independent ways to psychosocial development, academic competence, behavior problems and internal distress” (p.13). Roberts and Steinberg (1999) reported that “children who are raised in authoritative homes score higher than their peers raised in authoritarian, indulgent, or neglectful homes on a variety of measures of competence, social development, self-perceptions, and mental health” (p.1). It seems essential for schools and parents to work together in building good study skills for adolescents. Roberts and Steinberg (1999) report that “the adolescent whose investment in schoolwork pays off with good grades has experienced a combination of parental rules, limits, and structure that facilitate self-discipline, as well as enough parental latitude to achieve a sense of mastery over his or her efforts” (p.3). According to Zinsmeister (1999) a family’s religious beliefs also plays a major role in youths academics and social development. Wilcox (1999), as cited in Zinsmeister (1999), reports “that parents with conservative theological beliefs are more likely to praise and hug their children than are parents with less conservative theological views” (p.1).
In conclusion, parenting is too important a responsibility to leave to chance and needs to correctly done. I agree that authoritative parenting offers the best chance for the adolescent to develop correctly and be able to handle the daily struggles of life. Roberts and Steinberg (1999) “suspect that teens excel in most areas of their lives when they simply feel that they come from a loving home with responsive parents, regardless of whether they perceive other shortcomings in their parents” (p.12).