Authoritarian Parenting Theory

Keywords: authoritarian parenting advantages and cons

The research question for this essay is 'How will authoritarian parenting impact children and children in relation to their cultural skills. ' The purpose of this essay was to explore whether the authoritarian design of parenting enhances or undermines children and adolescent's public skills and how effective it is weighed against other styles or parenting. In addition the essay will explore different explanations of authoritarian parenting and public skill. The ways that interpersonal skills are measured were also explored. Studies from different psychologist were used to evaluate whether authoritarian parenting enhances or undermines children's and adolescents' sociable skills. Permissive parenting and authoritative parenting were also evaluated using different studies. The findings and conclusions from these studies were weighed against the results and conclusions made from the studies on authoritarian parenting. It was concluded that authoritarian parenting undermines a child's and adolescent's interpersonal skills and therefore is a less effective parenting style in this aspect in comparison to permissive and authoritative parenting.


This essay will be investigating the impacts that authoritarian parenting has on children and children with regards to their sociable skills. It is preserved that we now have four important components to parenting. These are thought to be: disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles and targets of maturity and control. Psychologist Diana Baumrind (1967) advised predicated on these four components of parenting that there are three main parenting styles that parents can are categorized as. These styles are authoritarian, authoritative and permissive. Later in 1983 Maccoby and Martin completed further research in this area and advised a fourth style, this they presumed was uninvolved. In this essay the authoritarian style of parenting will be analysed on the impacts that it is wearing the social skills of children and children who are brought up under this style. The design of authoritarian parenting was chosen as it is thought to be the most extreme in terms of the parents' coldness and strictness. Sociableness and cultural skills were chosen as the behavior to be analyzed as I believe it's the bases of almost all of the other behaviours that children have, for example their performance in college.

In this essay children are defined as humans that are between your age of labor and birth and puberty. Whereas adolescents are defined as humans that are between your era of 13 and 19, the difference between children and children are that an adolescent is above the age of maturity. Adolescence is when their brain is transitioning between puberty and legal adulthood.

The issue of child development and the impact and influence of the style where parents are mentioning their children are of great importance and significance. I believe this is because parents make an effort to bring up their children and children in the best way possible so that they can get the most out of life and be fulfilled. Therefore the research that is being conducted is crucial to both psychologists in order that they have the ability to understand how children develop in relation to their upbringing and their conditions. In addition it is also critical information for parents so that they are able to understand the most effective way to bring up their children. This issue is modern as a lot of the research has been taking place in the last several decades.

What is Authoritarian Parenting?

Many psychologists have different meanings of what they imagine authoritarian parenting to be. A number of these will be explored in this section, a final result will be produced on which of the definitions is the most sensible. This will be the one which is used throughout let's assume that all the psychologists carrying out the studies are using this experiment.

Diana Baumrind (1991) who first suggested the parenting styles represents authoritarian parenting as "compliance - and position orientated and expect their orders to be obeyed without description" Baumrind also advised that this design of parenting triggers children and adolescents to be relatively well-behaved, less resourceful, less socially adept and the children are more likely to suffer from mental problems in their teenage and adult years. The primary strength of the definition is the fact it clearly expresses the influences which authoritarian parenting has on the children brought up under this style. Although, a limitation is the fact is doesn't have a description of the parents behaviours towards the kid, they way the take action towards them and treat their children.

Another common explanation of authoritarian parenting is parents who "believe in holding their children higher level of achievement and status. The desire for discipline is often dominant in this relationship, that the partnership itself is devoid or lower in love, devotion and nurturing. "(Bradley) A limitation to this description is that it does not go into great depth about the impact that authoritarian parenting has on the child's behaviour and emotions.

A third definition that is used, defines authoritarian parenting as a "parenting style [that] is high in structural limitations and somewhat tight military in its execution. Their responsiveness to their children is usually low to very low. Guidelines are laid down and must be followed and perhaps, punishment metered away would be seen in today's contemporary society as extremely and unnecessarily heavy-handed. Self-discipline provides the primary base to the design of parenting. "(Caporella) A primary strength of this definition is the fact that the definition goes into aspect about the parent's behaviour towards the children. However, like the above it does not state the effects and implications of dealing with this parenting style.

The last description defines authoritarian parenting as parents who are highly demanding of the children and are directive, but unresponsive. If their children are unable to follow the rules that they have set, they will be punished greatly, (Berger 2001). Parents who presume this style do not engage in discussions with their children about the guidelines and standards that have been set for these people. The child has to obey the rules without question. Like most of the other explanations that have been explored recently, this one also will not go into detail about the influences and what the kids that are raised under this style of parenting. However, it does explain the values that the parents have about bringing up a child.

The definition which will be used for this article, is Baumrind's description (behavior - and status orientated and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation) and the fact that authoritarian parenting causes children and adolescents to be relatively well-behaved, less resourceful, less socially adept and children raised under this style will suffer mental problems in their teenage and adult years. This definition of authoritarian parenting was chosen as Baumrind was the first ever to propose the thought of parenting styles & most psychologists utilize this description as their platform. Also her values on the impacts that authoritarian parenting is wearing children and adolescents can be used as a hypothesis and for that reason, when exploring different studies and experiments on the sociableness of the kids we can analyse if they reflect and help provide support to Baumrind's theory or do they weaken her theory. In addition this is also the better of the meanings as it focuses on the impacts that your parenting style has on the kids and children, whereas others focus on the behaviours of the parents and the attitudes towards their children, this isn't important as the essay is concentrating on the effects the parenting style.

What are sociable skills (sociableness) and how is it assessed?

Psychologists have different ideas of what they believe that to be interpersonal skills and sociableness and what they don't. You can also get also different ways where they can evaluate one's public skills and sociableness and just why this is so. Therefore it is important that we explore the several meanings and the ways in which communal skills are measured. That is so a final result can be drawn on the definition of cultural skills which will be used; it'll be assumed that is the one which the psychologists used in the studies explored. Furthermore, this may also be the situation for the ways in which public skills are measured in mindset.

Social skills can be explained as skills that permit a person to communicate and talk to others. Social skills are tightly associated with Emotional Intellect - some sort of intelligence which involves the capability to perceive, assess and positively influence one's own or other people's emotions. What matters as being socially skilled varies from culture to culture, this is because of the different beliefs that different ethnicities have and what they consider to be socially appropriate. Some of the traits or skills that can be generally included are: the capability to remain appropriately quiet in sociable situations, active hearing skills, feeling empathy for others and expressing curiosity about them, understanding building skills, a proper degree of self discourse and appropriate attention contact. (Elliot)

Social skills may also be thought as any skill facilitating discussion and communication with others. Friendly rules are manufactured, communicated and transformed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning these skills is named socialisation.

One's social skills are hard to be measured as what is seen as a cultural skill changes from culture to culture and individual to individual. Therefore each psychologist may have their own thoughts and opinions on what they believe that to be cultural skills. How cultural a kid and adolescent is, is usually assessed by questionnaires that are given to parents and (in the majority of the studies in this article), as well as their educators, researchers also carry out interviews on the child's parents and their instructors. A few of these questionnaires ask the parents and educators to rate their communal skills over a range of ten. These questionnaires may also ask questions about how the children act when they are put into different situations with other children. From these answers the psychologist then make their conclusions about how exactly social the kid is. This is very subjective as different psychologists make different conclusions from the answers that were given on the questionnaires. Therefore if another psychologist was to reproduce another psychologists research, they could interpret the answers which were given in several ways and for that reason they would turn out with different results and therefore their conclusions would not be equivalent to the study being replicated. Because of this, when looking at the studies provided, it requires to be considered the way in which they go about collecting their information and if indeed they have carried out questionnaires, we can accumulate that their can be research may not be reliable when looking at it together. Instead its conclusions need to be looked at with regards to other studies. If the additional studies have the same or similar conclusions and conclusions then the research can be seen as reliable and their results have exterior validity.

How does indeed authoritarian parenting impact sociable skills?

Authoritarian parenting impacts the children; this can be in either a negative or positive way with respect to the factor which has been explored. The communal skills of the children and adolescents brought up under this certain parenting style will be explored, using a range of studies carried out by various psychologists.

The first review which will be analysed was carried out by Lamborn et al in 1992. The study took place in america of America on several teenagers. Their findings proved that the young adults that originated from an authoritarian qualifications were less likely to feel socially accepted by their peers. Also additionally they were rated less self-reliant, compared to the other young adults that originated from different parenting backgrounds. Lamborn et al's research helps support Baumrind's theory that children from authoritarian family members are less socially adept. However because this experiment was conducted in the United States, it can not be generalised to all children from authoritarian family members, as it didn't explore different cultures, as all the participants were American, and for that reason for these reasons the study does not have exterior validity.

Another similar review has been conducted by Chen et al in 1997. Their analysis was applied for in China, with second graders aged 8 yrs. old and their parents in Beijing. The research workers collected information from the participants' teachers about how social each of the participants was. This is done by the instructors completing a score size on school-related public competence and problems for each and every of the children. Data needed for child-rearing tactics was received from the parents. Out of this information they figured children from authoritarian parents are less socially proficient and are also less likely to be extreme and less inclined to be accepted by their peers. Although this experiment was only done on children from China, when it's compared with the earlier study (stated above) completed by Lamborn et al on American children it is more reliable, this is actually the circumstance as both of the experiments come to the same conclusions that children from authoritarian young families are less socially adept and qualified, therefore they can't be seen as anomalies and they both support each other. Additionally they are externally valid as both studies were applied for in two different countries on two different cultures and both came to the same final result. Although, some will dispute that it includes only been completed on two cultures and for it to be externally valid it would need more than two studies. However, both of these cultures are incredibly contrasting in their more individualist and collectivist natures and therefore if both of these opposites have the same studies then it is more likely that other ethnicities that are of similar natures would also come to the same conclusions. Moreover, from this we may take that these results is the same for different civilizations and then the findings are externally valid.

Other studies similar to the two mentioned above have been carried out by other researchers in different elements of the world, therefore Baumrind's theory that children from authoritarian parents are less socially adept can be generalised to all cultures. A number of the many other studies were conducted by Turkel and Tzer in 2008 in Turkey on high school students; another was done by Martinez et al in 2007 in SOUTH USA and Spain, while a further study was completed by Dekovic and Jannsens in 1992 and 1997 in the Netherlands. Furthermore another was conducted by Steinberg in 1996 on teenagers. These several studies concluded similar things that children from authoritarian are scored less resourceful, have low social competence, less mature in reasoning about moral issues, less self-reliant and have lower personal esteems in comparison to other children from the various parenting styles.

From the info that is gathered from the studies, it can be seen that authoritarian parenting does indeed impact children's and adolescent's communal skills, if they were to be brought up under this style of parenting. Furthermore it is also seen that authoritarian undermines alternatively than enhances the children's and children' cultural skills and skills.

How does indeed authoritarian parenting compare with permissive parenting and other styles?

It is important that authoritarian parenting is not looked at on its own, but compared with the other parenting styles that parents use. The primary parenting style which authoritarian parenting will be compared with is permissive parenting. That is as permissive parents are the opposing of authoritarian parents. Furthermore authoritative parenting may also be compared with authoritarian parenting; it is because authoritative parenting is believed to be the best style as it positively impacts the children and adolescents raised under the style.

Permissive parenting is defined by Baumrind (1991) as "non-traditional and lenient, do not require older behaviour, allow extensive self-regulation and prevent confrontation. " Baumrind thinks that children whom are raised in permissive homes are thought to be much more likely to participate in self destructive behaviours and have a high self esteem and enhanced social skills.

Martinez, Garcia and Yubero (2007) completed a study on 1 239 Brazilian adolescents aged 11 to 15 yrs. old, with 54% being female, and the other 46% male. The members were classified in to the four different parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved) based on their answers to a Parental Socialisation Size. The members then had to complete the Multidimensional SELF-CONFIDENCE Scale (that they had to rate themselves with their self confidence and behaviours in various cases). The results exhibited that adolescents from permissive homes have scored higher or add up to those in authoritative homes and higher than those from authoritarian or uninvolved homes. Out of this the researchers concluded that as children from permissive parents have best self esteem, they would therefore become more socially adept and have better social skill then other adolescents from the several parenting styles especially those from authoritarian families. The explanation for this being that self-esteem is thought to have a connection with one's communal skills. Therefore one's self-confidence is greater than they will have enhanced cultural skills.

A research was conducted by Lamborn et al (1990) on 4 100 children aged 14 to 18 years old. Adolescents were put into four groupings (authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved). These communities were determined by the adolescents' ratings on their parents in two areas: acceptance/involvement and company control. The individuals were then discovered by the research workers and surveys done by teachers and people near them. Lamborn et al discovered that children from permissive homes acquired an extremely strong self confidence and were more socially adept than those from authoritarian homes.

However, this study is seen as unreliable as the adolescents were but in to the four categories in line with the adolescents themselves. There may be unreliability, as the children may well not be genuine with the info that they provide about their parents, they may have over exaggerated their parents behaviours or underrated the behaviours. Which means adolescents might not have been placed into the right category and so consequently the email address details are not correct.

Thus, when we go through the studies on permissive parenting and its effects on social skills, we can see that this parenting style increases children's and adolescents' communal skills and their self-esteem which can affects one's sociable skills.

The second parenting style that I'll now check out is authoritative parenting. Studies on the effects of authoritative parenting on children and adolescents' social skills, will be analysed.

Baumrind (1991) defines authoritative parents as parents who have a different, more modest method of parenting that emphasises setting up high standards, they can be nurturing and reactive, and show value to their children as indie, logical beings. An authoritative father or mother expects maturity and co-operation; they also offer their children a great deal of mental support. Baumrind (1991) suggested that authoritative parents "monitor and impart clear expectations because of their children's conduct. These are assertive, however, not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, alternatively than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially dependable, and self-regulated as well as cooperative. " Maccoby and Martin (1993) have said "authoritative parents are both highly responsive and very demanding". Children that happen to be brought up with authoritative parents are thought to be more socially and psychologically skilled than other children which can be brought up with parents that use different styles.

Dekovic and Janssens (1992) carried out a report in holland on university children. They observed the children while these were getting together with their parents while undertaking puzzle tasks. Dekovic and Janssens saved three main aspects. The first being the amount of times and how usually the parents uttered their disapproval towards their children or when they tried to dominate the task. The second was how usually the parents should ambiance towards their child during the tasks, made recommendations, used instructions and demanded adult behaviour. The 3rd and previous the child's communal behaviour, these details was gathered by asking teachers and peers. The experts found that the kids that belonged to the parents who behaved more authoritatively through the tasks were rated as more prosocial. The conclusions and conclusion drawn from Dekovic and Janssens review help to support and improve Baumrind's meaning and theory on the impact which authoritative parents have on the children's public skills and competence.

Which is more effective?

By using the info that is distributed by the studies which have been analysed in the pervious areas it can be seen precisely how effective authoritarian parenting and other parenting styles are in enhancing their children's or adolescents' communal skills.

From the research of the studies as well as the definitions which were given by Baumrind, for permissive, authoritative and authoritarian parenting it can be seen just how effective each is in improving children's and adolescents' social skills.

The studies carried out by research workers such as Lamborn et al (1992), Chen et al (1997), along with others in several parts of the entire world, have found and concluded that the kids and adolescents which come from authoritarian parents are less resourceful, less older, have a minimal self-esteem and are less socially adept. Furthermore Baumrind's theory on the kids and adolescents which can be raised under the authoritarian style are less resourceful and socially adept. Therefore the studies carried out by these researchers are consistent with Baumrind's theory. These details therefore strengthens the theory, as the studies have not merely been completed in a single culture but in many throughout the world, in Asia, European countries and the United States of America.

However, the studies which have been carried out by research workers such as Martinez, Garcia and Yubero (2007) and Lamborn et al (1990) on permissive parents and their children have found and concluded that children and adolescents that come out of this parenting style have a higher self-esteem and interpersonal skills, and have a high self confidence and are socially adept. Baumrind believed that children and adolescents raised with permissive parents have a higher self esteem and have enhanced sociable skills. Furthermore, the studies therefore support and improve Baumrind's theory, as they may have found the concluded exactly like her, and not just in one culture however in many different cultures.

It in addition has been concluded by analysts such as Dekovic and Janssens (1992) that children and children that come from authoritative parents are more social and have great communal skills these skills range from their ability to listen to others around them, their potential to keep calm in different cultural situations, appropriate discourse and attention contact with others, expressing fascination with others and their capacity to feel empathy for others. Baumrind's theory on the social skills of children and children from authoritative parents states they are found to be more socially and emotionally proficient than children that are brought up under different parenting styles.


In conclusion, it can be seen from the studies which may have been provided and analysed throughout the essay, and in addition with the conclusions that contain been made in the previous section on authoritarian parenting (undermines a child's and adolescent's sociable skills), permissive and authoritative parenting (improves a child's and adolescent's interpersonal skills). Therefore in comparison to these parenting styles authoritarian is less effective in creating a child's and adolescent's communal skills. The impacts of this can be negative; it can have a poor effect on their university life and even their college performance as they are unable to converse effectively with others around them. Furthermore, it's been shown that children raised under the authoritarian parenting style will develop mental problems in their adult lives. This is found in a report carried out by Rothrauff et al in '09 2009. The researchers surveyed middle aged Americans. They found that the ones that appreciated authoritarian childhoods were more likely showing depressive symptoms and poor psychological adjustment. The studies of this review were found to be true for those ethnic teams, especially in Western Americans. Grounds for authoritarian children producing depressive symptoms in their later lives is actually a consequence of the lack of interpersonal skills, as they could never have found it easy to socialize and therefore have been kept feeling lonely. It can therefore be observed that when a mother or father is considering which parenting style that they should develop in bringing up the youngster, therefore should become aware of the fact that if they're to take on an authoritarian style that the youngster will not develop many sociable skills. However, this is not the sole aspect a parent should consider when consider the parenting style that they will take the role of. Parents also needs to consider the way the parenting style impacts the child's academics performance at university, child's behaviour if they develop more hostile and damaging behaviours or are well behaved.

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