Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, identified four main types of parenting styles, sometimes called the Baumrind parenting styles. These 4 parenting styles are now commonly recognized and studied by pediatricians and psychologists.
- Authoritative Parenting
- Authoritarian Parenting
- Permissive Parenting
- Neglectful Parenting
Out of these four types of parenting styles, authoritative parenting has been consistently linked to the most positive outcomes in many studies.
How Baumrind Parenting Styles Were Defined
Demandingness refers to the extend parents control their children’s behavior or demand their maturity.
Responsiveness refers to the degree parents are accepting and sensitive to their children’s needs.
Authoritative Parenting (high demandingness, high responsivenss)
Authoritative parents have high expectations for achievement and maturity, but they are also warm and responsive. These parents set rules and enforce boundaries by having bidirectional conversation and reasoning. They are affectionate and supportive and encourage independence.
This parenting approach is linked to the most successful academic performance, better psychological well-being, more social competence, less drugs or alcohol abuse, less mental issues, less violent tendencies and better self-esteem in the child.
Authoritarian Parenting (high demandingness, low reponsiveness)
Although authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles have similar names, they have several important differences. While both parenting styles demand high standards, authoritarian parents demand blind obedience using reasons such as “because I said so“. These parents use stern discipline and often employ punishment to control children’s behavior. Authoritarian parents are unresponsive to their children’s needs and are generally not nurturing.
This approach usually results in short-term compliance and obedience in the child, but the child is less independent and has poorer social skills. Studies have also shown that children of authoritarian parents are worse in academic achievements. They have an increased risk for drinking, smoking or using drugs, lower self esteem and more occurrences of behavioral or mental issues such as suicide attempts.
Permissive Parenting (low demandingness, high responsiveness)
Permissive parents set very few rules and boundaries and they are reluctant to enforce rules. These parents are warm and indulgent but they do not like to say no or disappoint their children.
As a result, these children may grow up having difficulty with self-control and following rules. They can also have egocentric tendencies leading to problems in relationships and social interactions.
Neglectful Parenting (low demandingness and low responsiveness)
Neglectful parents do not set firm boundaries or high standards. They are indifferent to their children’s needs and uninvolved in their lives. Children of neglectful parents are more susceptible to impulsive behavior, delinquency and addictions due to issues with self-regulation. They also have an increased risk in suicidal behavior in adolescents.
Studies have shown that this parenting style is linked to certain parental problems including maternal depression, physical abuse or child neglect.
Is Parenting Style The Answer To Raising Successful Children?
Not necessarily, but it is a good place to start.
For over 25 years, this classification of parenting styles has been researched in many different countries and is generally found to yield expected results. However, inconsistencies in some cases remain. Here are some factors that may also play a part in determining how a child turns out.
Some studies found that authoritative parenting isn’t always linked to the best school achievement across families from diverse ethnic (e.g. Asian, Black, Hispanic) and socioeconomic backgrounds (e.g. income level, parental education, number of active parents).
Parenting Styles vs Parenting Practices
Parenting style is the emotional climate in which parents raise their children.
Parenting practices are specific actions that parents employ in their parenting.
Even for parents with the same parenting style, they may choose to utilize different parenting practices which may affect the outcome.
Children’s own behavior can affect the parent’s choice, too. For example, kids with a more sensitive temperament may be perceived as difficult causing the parents to change their parenting style towards authoritarian.
Despite all these uncertainties, bear in mind that when choosing among different parenting styles, school achievements should not be the only or most important metric to measure a child’s success in life.
To this date, no study has conclusively disproved the benefits of authoritative parenting, while many others have consistently shown its advantages. So overall, authoritative parenting is still the parenting style of choice recommended by psychologists.
Which Type Of Parenting Is The Most Effective
In the United States, authoritarian parenting and authoritative parenting are the more common parenting styles among parents.
- Baumrind (1991)
- Darling and Steinberg (1993)
- Authoritative parenting and college students’ academic adjustment and success. By Strage, Amy; Brandt, Tamara Swanson
- Impact of parenting practices on adolescent achievement: authoritative parenting, school involvement, and encouragement to succeed. By Steinberg L, Lamborn SD, Dornbusch SM, Darling N.
- The influence of authoritative parenting style on adolescents’ academica chievement. By Kingsley Nyarko
- Remembered Parenting Styles and Adjustment in Middle and Late Adulthood. By Tanja C. Rothrauff, Teresa M. Cooney, and Jeong Shin An
- Relationships between parenting styles and risk behaviors in adolescent health: an integrative literature review. By Newman K, Harrison L, Dashiff C, Davies S.
- The Authoritative Parenting Index: predicting health risk behaviors among children and adolescents. By Jackson C, Henriksen L, Foshee VA.
- Relationship of perceived parenting styles, locus of control orientation, and self-concept among junior high age students. By Lisa A. McClun and Kenneth W. Merrell
- Impact of Behavioral Inhibition and Parenting Style on Internalizing and Externalizing Problems from Early Childhood through Adolescence. By Lela Rankin Williams, Kathryn A. Degnan, […], and Nathan A. Fox
- The mediational pathway among parenting styles, attachment styles and self-regulation with addiction susceptibility of adolescents. By Zeinali A, Sharifi H, Enayati M, Asgari P, Pasha G.
- Is parenting style a predictor of suicide attempts in a representative sample of adolescents? By Carolin Donath, Elmar Graessel, […], and Thomas Hillemacher
- A Review of the Relationship Among Parenting Practices, Parenting Styles, and Adolescent School Achievement. By Christopher Spera