With approximately 216,000 babies born every day in the world (UN, 2008), we’ve got new mothers and fathers appearing left, right and centre. ‘Parenting’, is what defines how our children behave in different situations, whether it is social, or formal, how they respond, react to and judge different situations, and what type of adult they will ultimately become in later years (Davies, 2000). University of California psychologist Diana Baumrind is famous for identifying what she calls ‘Parenting Styles’. In her theory, the three parenting styles that she defined influence the behaviour, personality and overall emotional balance of the child. In this essay, I will discuss Baumrind’s research methods, the three different parenting styles, provide everyday scenarios for the three different styles and then cover any part(s) of the research that the scenarios may not have explained. Finally, I will discuss any extensions that have been done by others to Baumrind’s research.
Baumrind began her research in 1967, observing nursery school children through to their Secondary School years. She would examine their daily activities and behaviour, and identified three patterns of child behaviour- ‘irritable or conflicted, impulsive or aggressive, or energetic or friendly’ (Cox & Brooks-Gunn, 1999). She then conducted separate interviews, and observed the parents and children, first in their homes, and then in a laboratory setting.
Baumrind’s research found clear links between a child’s behavioural outcome and the style of parenting that they were bought up upon. She concluded with three different parenting styles- Authoritative, Permissive and Authoritarian.
The Permissive parenting style is child centred, however, does not demand much from the child. Parents tend to be very lenient, and encourage self-regulation in children whilst trying to avoid confrontations. In turn, children usually have high self esteem and good social skills, however, children that have been...