Parenting Styles and Outcomes for Children
In the last blog post, I covered the basics of each parenting style.
Just to review:
Permissive parents are warm and responsive to their children, but they place few demands on the child's behavior.
Neglectful parents are neither responsive to or demanding of their children. Children are essentially left to raise themselves.
Authoritarian parents place many demands on their children, but they are not very warm or responsive to them. A typical authoritarian parents answers, "Because I said so."
Authoritative parents have both high expectations and are warm/responsive to their children.
There is a great deal of research out there about each parenting style and how it impacts children. There are well-established relationships between parenting style and various psychological, social, and physical outcomes for children, with the best overall outcomes occurring for children of authoritative parents. Here is a (non-exhaustive) summary:
Parenting Style and Eating Habits
Daughters of permissive, authoritarian, or neglectful mothers are less satisfied with their bodies, more driven to be thin, and more likely to have unhealthy eating habits than the daughters of authoritative mothers
Daughters of authoritarian mothers have an increased risk for the development of bulimia
Children of permissive fathers have lower levels of food intake monitoring, as well as a higher incidence of obesity
Children of authoritative parents have the best chance of successfully reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
Parenting Style, Depression, and Anxiety
Children of permissive and authoritarian parents have higher levels of depression, anxiety, and internal distress
Children of permissive and authoritarian parents have lower levels of frustration tolerance
Children of authoritative parents show the lowest levels of depression, anxiety, and internal distress
Parenting Style, Antisocial Behavior, and Prosocial Behavior
Children of authoritarian mothers show more physical aggression
Sons of permissive parents have a higher frequency of antisocial behavior
Daughters of authoritative parents are more likely to discuss their whereabouts and activities with their parents
Children of authoritative mothers show more prosocial behavior in the preschool years
Children of authoritative parents are more sympathetic to others
Children of authoritative parents show less antisocial behavior and more prosocial behavior
Parenting style, Adjustment, Achievement, and Functioning
Children of authoritative parents have better self-regulation skills
Children of authoritative parents have better emotional adjustment
Maternal empathy and paternal consistency are the best predictors of healthy overall adjustment and functioning in children and adolescents
Socially competent, high achieving males emphasize their fathers’ encouragement and high expectations, both hallmarks of authoritative parenting, as significant contributors to their success
Authoritative parenting is related to higher life-satisfaction
Parenting Style and Self-Esteem
Parenting style is one of the best predictors of self-esteem during adolescence
Authoritarian parenting is associated with lower self-esteem in children
Authoritative parenting is associated with higher self-esteem in children
Having one authoritative parent has been found to be positively associated with self-esteem
Having two authoritative parents makes this association even stronger
Not only is adjustment best in children from authoritative homes, the positive impact of authoritative parenting on life adjustment continues into middle and late adulthood. Even after controlling for marital status, age, education, and income, adults who recall their parents as being authoritative are the most well-adjusted.