Diana Baumrind is the scientist whose classic work on
parenting styles is highly cited (e.g., 1971). In a series of studies, Baumrind
examined the way parents interacted with their boys and girls. Based on analyses
of the data, she identified four patterns of parental authority, which have
become known as parenting styles. In 2013, Baumrind clarified the parenting constructs.
Many experts recommend the Authoritative Parenting Style,
but not all promoters of the style focus on the evidence-based construct as Baumrind
is derived from a pair of
patterns representing demandingness and responsiveness. Baumrind explains that authoritative
parenting is based on the concept of authority
Theoretically, parents have the relevant knowledge and the capacity to protect
their children. On this assumption, they have the legitimate right to use power
to guide their children’s behavior. Authoritative parents confront their children
and do not permit defiance, but they also support their children’s autonomy and
respond to reason.
When administering discipline, authoritative parents focus
on the issue rather than simple obedience. They are affectionate and they
assert their power. They are high on both control and love. Although they have
firm rules, authoritative parents are willing to negotiate when a child makes a
reasonable case for a different course of action.
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Baumrind clarifies some differences in the following quote.
Thus, the authoritative prototype is antithetical both to the permissive prototype characterized by few rules or demands and to the authoritarian prototype characterized by coercive and functionally superfluous control (Baumrind, 1966). Misunderstanding of parental authority and of the authoritative construct is fostered when parental control and love are represented as opposite ends of the same continuum rather than as two independent dimensions (Baumrind, 2013, p. 13).
is a pattern that encourages a child’s autonomy. These parents are widely
accepting and low on behavioral control. They are high on unconditional acceptance
and love. The permissive parenting style includes a child input into family decisions
as if they had an equal vote to that of their parents.
involves controlling a child’s behavior with firm limits as does
the authoritative style, but authoritarian parenting involves coercion, which
we may call psychological control. Coercive strategies are intrusive, fail to
consider reasonable alternatives or limits, and level children feeling uncomfortably
manipulated as if they had no say in their life choices. When administering
discipline following misbehavior, authoritarian parents focus on obedience
rather than family values and goals.
has also been called rejecting-neglecting
parenting. These parents are low on controlling their children’s behavior and
(2013). Authoritative parenting revisited: History and current status. In Authoritative parenting: Synthesizing
nurturance and discipline for optimal child development.
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/13948-002
(1966). Effects of authoritative parental control on child behavior. Child