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Critical Analysis Report (1)

Critical Analysis Report: Parenting styles
Oluwanifemi Osundina
Introduction to psychology
Professor D.W Stoddart
June 20, 2018
Much like other fields, in the field of psychology, there is always a debate, or different views on
topics, as people have different ideas and different forms of research have been carried out
giving results which might spark controversy. The topic of parenting styles is one people feel
strongly about because “The root cause of majority of the mental health problems which arise in
adolescence are related to parenting styles.”(Joseph & John, 2008). This paper would discuss the
types of parenting styles, as well as the pros and cons that come along with implementing these
parenting styles. I would be discussing both extremes of parental styles, particularly the
authoritarian and permissive styles.
Keywords: parenting styles, authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, parents.
Critical Analysis Report: Parental styles
“The root cause of majority of the mental health problems which arise in adolescence are
related to parenting styles.”(Joseph & John, 2008). This sentence only goes to emphasize how
important the parental style adopted by parent(s) is in the life of a child, even from childhood into
adulthood. Majority of adults and adolescents now, who have either behavioral problems, or
emotional issues, might trace these issues back to how they were parented. This explains why there
are ongoing debates regarding the style of parenting which produces well-rounded children, and
later on, healthy adults. I chose this topic because it applies to everyone, myself included. Children
because they might be interested in understanding why they are parented in such a way, and adults
might want to understand their parental styles and the effects of it, and also what areas to improve
on. Parental styles also affect the society as a whole in one way or the other, as children are majorly
a product of how they have been raised/parented, and go on to be adults in the society.
Parental styles are used to capture normal variations in parent’s attempts to control and
socialize their children (Terry, 2004). They are identifiable patterns of parental caretaking and
interaction with children (Coon, Martini & Mitterer, 2016). There are multiple forms of parental
styles, which include authoritarian, authoritative, overly permissive and uninvolved. The
authoritarian, authoritative and permissive parenting styles were originally identified and defined
by Baumrind (1967, 1991) in a pioneering study (Joseph& John, 2008).
Authoritarian parents are very controlling in the use of authority and power. They depend
on punishment as a way to control a child, but are not responsive. Authoritarian parents value
obedience to authority, and do not give room for disagreement (Coon, Martini & Mitterer, 2016).
Authoritative parents supply firm guidance, along with love. They communicate well with their
children, and are both demanding and responsive. They are able to give their children freedom,
but at the same time stay in control (Terry, 2004). This form of parenting seems to be the middle
ground, as it is not too free, but not too restricted as well. Overly permissive parents give their kids
all they want, without enforcing specific limits, while uninvolved parents are not a major part of
their children’s lives. The next part of this paper would be explaining the advantages and
disadvantages of authoritative style of parenting, as opposed to the permissive style, as well as the
impact of those styles of parenting on a child’s life (emotionally and behaviorally). There is
disagreement about the best parental style, some people believe children should be left to live and
make mistakes when young, to enable them gain necessary skills and relate to parents like their
friends, while others believe children need a firm hand since what they are is just that, children.
Authoritative/Authoritarian parental styles
Authoritative and authoritarian styles of parenting have been grouped together because
while they slightly differ in style, they are a lot similar, this is because parents who employ either
of both styles are active in the life of their offspring, and try to enforce some form of control
regardless of how the control is enforced- using scare tactics or force, or with understanding and
It has been established that authoritarian parents do not expect their children to express
disagreement with their decisions and rules and do expect them to obey without explanation (As
cited in Joseph & John, 2008). People who apply authoritarian parenting style generally raise
children who are obedient, but they tend to not be so happy, and might fall behind in social skills
and self-esteem (Joseph & John, 2008). It is not difficult to see why they lack social skills as the
parent makes the rules and decides what the child should do instead of allowing the child to choose
by him or herself, or merely guiding the child. The children also rarely take initiatives or make
decisions on their own. They are socially withdrawn and look to others to decide what’s right. This
could be bad as the children might look to the wrong person for advice/guidance. Children with
authoritarian parents tend to have anxiety of some form at a point in their lives. Research has
relatively recently begun to focus on family characteristics that may promote the development of
anxiety. It indicates that family relationships differ between anxious and nonanxious families
(Cobham et al., 1999; Dadds et al., 1996; Stark et al., 1990; Woodruff-Borden et al., 2002). “One
characteristic that has consistently been found to differ and has been emphasized is the construct
of parental control” (Ballash, Buckley, Leyfer & Woodruff-Borden, 2006). Because they are
constantly being controlled, yelled at or scolded, it may take a while for them to extinguish feelings
of anxiety that they have come to develop following certain actions. These children tend to be low
in self-confidence and lack social and academic competence, they may also lack spontaneity and
intellectual curiosity (Joseph & John, 2008), due to the rigid environment they have been raised
Advantages of authoritarian style. Some benefits of the authoritarian style of parenting
is the fact that there is clarity. There are no gray areas or areas of confusion regarding who is in
control, or what needs to be done. Children are given the privilege of knowing exactly what is
expected of them at all times and also what repercussions exist if rules are not followed to the
maximum. Apart from a responsible, efficient and highly productive child, there are not many
benefits when the authoritarian style is implemented. And even at this, the discipline instilled
might be short lived, as some children run wild when they get out on their own, free from control.
Overly-Permissive/neglectful parental styles
As stated earlier, overly permissive parents give little guidance, and allow too much freedom. They
tend not to hold their children accountable for their actions (Coon, Martini & Mitterer, 2016).
Children of overly permissive parents tend to be immature, when compared to children from
authoritative or authoritarian homes, exhibit terrible control of impulses-as they are used to getting
what they want-, and have difficulty accepting responsibility for their own actions and acting
independently (Terry, 2004), this is because their parents did not train them to take responsibility
for actions. Adolescents from indulgent homes report a higher frequency of involvement in deviant
behaviors, such as drug use and alcohol use, school misconduct and emotional, impulsive,
nonconforming behaviors (Durbin, Darling, Steinberg, & Brown, 1993) due to their background
and the fact they are used to being free, and not being under any form of control.
As much as there are a lot of disadvantages or problems with permissive parental style,
children who were raised with this style derived some benefits. “Baumrind (1991) stated that
because children of permissive parents always do their activities independently, these children are
more mature and more responsible.”(Rosli, 2009). Children of permissive parents may grow up to
have a high self-esteem, this is because they were raised by parents who could be described as
carefree and unbothered, as a result of this, they were not put down, scolded, or made to feel less
On the other hand, children of overly permissive parents, might also grow up with a low
self-esteem, as they grow up with little guidance from parents. One might even say that permissive
parents show less care and attention to their children. The children of parents with this parental
style grow up “alone”, without receiving full attention from their parents. This could eventually
affect their development later in life where they might have low self-esteem when compared to
their peers. A child still needs guidance and direction from its parents (Rosli, 2009), and if this
guidance is not provided at the right stage, which is the early years, the child might encounter
difficulty later on in life when he or she has to choose from right or wrong.
With these being said, it is seen that permissive parenting has its advantages and
disadvantages, but over the years, it could be said that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
Behaviors such as delinquency, abuse, and crime are social issues, which affect the society as a
whole, compared to the trivial benefits such as independence which comes with being raised by
overly permissive parents, and more so for children raised by neglectful parents. Independence
and a high self-esteem could be nurtured or gotten through other means of being parented, such as
the authoritative style, so the overly permissive style of parenting is not necessary for a child to
grow up independent.
It is obvious that in this paper, regarding the styles of parenting discussed, more emphasis
was placed on both extremes. This is not to ignore the other two styles, but to place more focus on
the extremes, which is where parents usually fall. The mid-point of these would be the authoritative
parental style, at it balances the discipline aspect of parenting, with the part that expresses love,
concern and gentle correction. This parental style is the most effective to raise well rounded
children. There are quite a number of advantages that come with being raised with the authoritative
style, and disadvantages are relatively few and not as a result of the parental style, but other
extraneous influences, because parents have done their best to strike a balance between disciple
and responsiveness.
Children raised by authoritative parents are better able to develop social competence
compared to other children (Baumrind, 1991). The Johnson and Schemes (2005) study conducted
on university students, found that students who have authoritative parents showed a higher level
of social adjustment than those who have authoritarian parents (as cited in Rosli, 2009). Children
raised with this style exhibit increasing self-esteem and develop positive attitudes. Because of
these pleasurable factors they are are able to socially interact with other people appropriately
because they have the confidence to mix with people. As other researchers have found out, all of
this is because, they were raised surrounded by authoritative parenting elements such as
monitoring, support, and nurturing (as cited in Rosli, 2009).
It is obvious that the best or most profitable parental style is the authoritative style, as
children and their emotional, mental and academic development stand to gain a lot, when they are
raised by parents who strike a balance between both extremes. Therefore, there really should be
no debate as to how children should be raised, seeing as there is an obvious solution, which allows
for things to be done in moderation.
Ballash, G.N., Leyfer. O., Buckley, A.F., Woodruff-Borden, O. (2006). Parental Control in the
Etiology of Anxiety. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. Retrieved on June
20, 2018, from https://academic.microsoft.com/detail/2092551689?FORM=DACADP
Cobham, V. E., Dadds, M. R., and Spence, S. H. (1999). Anxious children and their parents:
What do they expect? Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 28: 220–231. Retrieved on
June 20. 2018
Coon, D., Mitterer, J., Martini, T. (2016) Introduction to psychology: Gateway to mind and
behavior 5th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage learning.
Joseph M. V., John J. (2008). Impact of parenting styles on child development. Global Academic
Society Journal: Social Science Insight, Vol. 1, No. 5, pp. 16-25. Retrieved on June 20,
2018, from http://scholararticles.net/impact-of-parenting-styles-on-child-development/
Rosli, N.A. (2014). Effect of Parenting Styles on Children's Emotional and Behavioral Problems
Among Different Ethnicities of Muslim Children in the U.S. Retrieved on June 20, 2018
from http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations_mu/376
Terry, D.J. (2004). Investigating the Relationship between Parenting Styles and Delinquent
Behavior, McNair Scholars Journal: Vol. 8: Issue. 1, Article 11. Retrieved on June 20,
2018, from