Different parental treatments have significant effects on the children’s social and emotional development. The type of environment that a child grows helps in determining the mode of adjustment during puberty (Sheehan and Noller, 2002). Outcomes from different studies show that parent’s approach has a positive or negative impact towards a child growth during the adolescence. Adolescence represents psychological and physical transition stage from puberty to adulthood. Parenting is associated with the type of discipline a parent demonstrates to children and the techniques used to make a child live a positive lifestyle. Many researchers concentrate on the effects of parental styles and discipline on children during early adolescence adjustment, but few concentrate on adjustments in late adolescence (McKinney, Milone, and Renk, 2011). The following paper investigates the relationship between parental style and adjustment in adolescence. The main parental styles that will be analyzed are authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved parenting styles. In each of the above parenting style, the paper will provide a definition and discuss how it relates to the adjustment in adolescence in Malaysian contest, and other areas.
Relationship between Parental Style and Adjustment in adolescence
Authoritarian Parenting Style
Parental styles play a major role in influencing the adjustment of adolescents to the next stage of growth. The authoritarian parenting style is characterized by parents who always act in a strict and harsh manner towards their children. The main aim of the authoritarian parent is to ensure the child grows an obedient person focusing more on their own demands and not those of the child. The child grows under the rule of the parent and has no room to decide on his or her own. Ang terms authoritarian parents as controlling, strict, hostile, and aggressive. Most researchers in children psychology claim that children whose parents are authoritative record poor adjustment to adolescence outcomes (Ang and Goh, 2006). The above parenting style has its own benefits and negatives as discussed below.
Children growing under the authoritarian parents show more respect and obedience and fair well in the society. Rules given to children during early periods of growth should act as guiding principles that control children’s conducts and behaviors towards other people in the society irrespective of the relationship, age, or status. On the other hand, the child grows as a respected person in the society with total respect towards elders because of the nature of their parents during childhood. Authoritarian parents believe in respect and obedient values and would not allow their children to show any form of disobedience. The style helps children understand their potential and most end up becoming professionals in their areas of career upon reaching adulthood (Bornstein and Bornstein, 2007).
The authoritarian parenting style is associated with much negativity in terms of the child growth and adjustment to the physical environment. Firstly, most children never seem to understand the meaning of rules and guidelines given by their parents and only follow them in fear of punishments. Authoritarian parents believe that their children should follow what their parents say and should not ask questions. Secondly, the style is characterized with poor communication between parents and children. Authoritarian parents do not bother teaching their children effective communication skills rather they implant more fear, and a child grows lonely and away from peers. Finally, forceful measures towards children make them stay unhappy life. Authoritarian parents force their children to follow rules, a situation that makes children grow with low self-esteem and large gaps in social skills (Bornstein and Bornstein, 2007). In addition, Bornstein and Bornstein argued that most children end up becoming bullies because the style evokes bitterness and anger. A child reacts aggressively to any person they hate especially their peers (Bornstein and Bornstein, 2007).
How adolescence adjust to authoritarian parenting style
Control and warmth form the two major aspects of parenting behavior that controls the adjustment of a child to the environment depending on the parenting style a child experiences. Authoritarian parenting style shows a high rate of control but display low warmth leading to poor adjustment in adolescence. Children under this parental style must adjust to strict, disciplinary, and restrictive environment making them fear natural things and respond poorly to the changing moods in adolescence. In addition, authoritarian parents never engage their children in discussion (Turner, Chardler and Heffer, 2007). Children during the adolescence stage require constant counseling and guidance from their parents who teach them how to prepare for adulthood. Lack of such lessons leads to low adaptability to the adolescence age hence, ends up becoming rebellious and dependent (Turner, Chardler and Heffer, 2007). Adolescence finds it hard adjusting to the environment under this parenting style and always requires further counseling (Kopko, 2007).
Authoritative Parenting Style
As opposed to authoritarian parenting style, authoritative style shows high development of competence in adolescence. This type of parenting style is associated with parents, who listen to their children, have high expectations for their children, encourage their children, and show more love for their children. Authoritative parents aim at producing self-determined adults who show both moral character and competence. In addition, authoritative parents allow their children to express their opinions and administer consistent discipline in a fair and acceptable manner. Children who grow under authoritative parents utilize their thoughts and work independently and have high life expectations. Parents always play a part in encouraging children, and those who break rules undergo fair and consistent discipline. According to Steinberg, Lamborn, and Dornbuch (1991), authoritative parenting style improves parent-child relationship and promotes consistency of children’s behaviors from childhood to old-age. Like the authoritarian parenting style, authoritative style has its pros and cons.
Children growing under the authoritative parenting styles develop knowing their expectations in life and understand reasons behind such high expectations. Authoritative parents ensure their children follow their dreams and play a part in ensuring they fulfill them effectively. Secondly, the style promotes good children-parent relationship making children free to interact with parents, ask questions, and give their opinion on various aspects of their adolescence life. Thirdly, children take age appropriate responsibilities that are within their responsibilities. Finally, the warmth nature of this style makes children grow respecting their parents, with less fear of punishment (Marsiglia, Walczyk, Buboltz, and Griffin-Ross, 2007).
The authoritative parenting style increases the responsibility of parents. The freedom of speech enjoyed by children often forces parents to give responses to new things that children say or act. Secondly, parents often face challenges especially when one of the children becomes willful. Parents should maintain a higher degree of patience in order to survive under this parenting style. Most children end up asking different questions, some of which parents are shy to answer. On the other hand, parents need to be more attentive to their children behaviors because of the changing needs as they grow. Parents must constantly modify needs and amend rules as the years go on in order to cater for physical and psychological development of the child (Marsiglia, Walczyk, Buboltz, and Griffin-Ross, 2007).
How adolescence adjust to authoritative parenting style
Children require two main things from parents, which are control and warmth. The authoritative parenting style seems to fulfill all the two aspects making it easier for a child to adjust to adolescence. The above type of parenting style promotes high levels of adolescence school achievement, but the results vary depending on the culture, ethnicity, and social- economic status of the child. Adolescences always find it easier to adapt to changing environment because they have total love from parents, and receive lessons on how to deal with different emotions as they occur during adolescence (Spera, 2005). Moreover, adolescents never suffer from loneliness as in the case of the authoritarian parental style because the authoritative parents take responsibility of their children’s well-being and allow them to ask questions regarding their physical and psychological development.
On the other hand, sometimes children experience challenges adjusting in adolescence under the authoritative parenting style. A research conducted among European Americans identified authoritative parent style as the most optimal because of its consistency and better children and adolescent’s outcomes. However, the study among minority communities, like the Malaysians, revealed poor adjustment of adolescents to their environment. The authoritative parenting style received much negativity because ethnic minorities prefer not talking about critical issues like sex, parenting, and other issues that children ask their parents. According to the research, high levels of parental warmth associated with low parental strictness promotes optimal outcome among adolescents (Garcia and Gracia, 2009).
Permissive Parenting Style
Permissive parenting style forms one of the most original parenting styles as described from the psychological point of view. According to Turner, Chandler, and Heffer (2011), permissive parenting represents parents who show relatively few demands upon their children. Parents show low expectations and have limited self-control, hence rarely caution or discipline their children. Permissive parents show more qualities of responsiveness than demands (Nijhof & Engels, n.d). Permissive parenting style is more modern and allows children to self-regulate their behaviors with limited parent intervention. Parents demonstrating permissive parenting style show limited rules towards their children, are very nurturing and show more love for their children, and they often show a more friend-child relationship rather than parent-child relationship (Nijhof & Engels, n.d). The permissive parenting style has the following pros and cons.
According to Kipko (2007), permissive parenting style is very warm and increases the bond between parents and their children. Permissive parents play part in influencing adolescents positively by demonstrating more love through giving wishes. Most adolescents like the permissive parenting style because such parents allow them to do whatever they wish such as staying late at night without any question.
The permissive parenting style has its effects on children in Malaysia and other European countries. Firstly, children lack self-discipline because parents never dedicate time to teach children good virtual. In addition, parents lack demands and expectations making children less sensible and controllable. Secondly, adolescents grow with poor social skills and find it hard adapting to careers such as leadership that require the person to interact effectively with other people. Permissive parents have minimum requirements for mature behaviors denying their children social settings that promote good interpersonal relationship. Finally, permissive parenting style makes children more insecure because they lack guidance on real-life activities. Most of these children perform poorly in schools because they lack parental motivations (Nijhof & Engels, n.d).
How adolescence adjust to permissive parenting style
Adolescents of permissive parents create fewer boundaries and rules that create less self-control and behaviors towards their psychological development (Steinberg, 1990). Adolescents experience difficult times associating with peers from authoritative and authoritarian parents, who show self-discipline and respect for the society. In addition, the problem contributes to poor peer relationship because adolescents lack proper teachings on real-life issues. Moreover, adolescents from permissive parents show variations in demographics such as social relationships, and cultural representations. Permissive parents allow their children to do anything they wish, an issue that makes such children facing discrimination from the society. During the adolescence period such children fail to adjust to the new developmental age, and tend to demonstrate strange behaviors and poor performance (Steinberg, 1990).
On the other hand, adolescents from permissive parents record low scores on self-esteem as shown in Milevsky, Schelechter, and Netter research. Adolescents of permissive parents are less likely to suffer from depression compared to adolescents from authoritarian parents who always leave with fear. Permissive parents fail to supervise their children and upon reaching adolescence, children change into doing weird behaviors as they follow their instincts (Milevsky, Schelechter, Netter, and Keehn, 2006). Parents have no say on children at this age because they believe whatever action they take is the correct one. Moreover, lack of parental control makes the child experience many problems during adulthood and the issue affects even other generations.
Uninvolved Parenting Style
Unlike the three discussed parenting styles above, the parents showing uninvolved style have few demands for their children, low responsiveness, and little communication. Uninvolved parents meet all their children’s basic needs, but generally not involved in any activity of their children’s life. In most cases, adolescents of uninvolved parenting styles end up neglected by their parents. The parent-child interaction time is minimal to an extent that some parents even never know the whereabouts of their children. The adolescent time forms the most critical stage a child and with uninvolved parents, such children always experience challenges adjusting to the changing environment. Uninvolved parents always never care where their children go, stay, or even sleep provided they have given them all the basic needs. Any decision or idea from a teen to his or her parent makes no impact. Because of the low demanding nature of uninvolved parents adolescent learn to avoid them at older ages. The issue makes such children turn into unethical activities like teen sex and drug and substance abuse (Calafat, Garc´ia, Juan, Beco˜na, Fern´andez-Hermida, 2014).
Whereas some parents prefer this type of parenting style, the style has no significant benefits to the life of children. This is not the chosen parenting style of parents, especially those with life-time family goals. In addition, the characteristics of parents shown on this style are not the type that would benefit children in their adolescence stage (Kipko, 2007).
With no benefits on this style, it has a number of cons towards parents, their children, and the society. Firstly, parents never place any demands on their children leading to impulsive teens with an “I do not care” attitude. Children feel neglected and have difficulties adjusting to adolescence stages that require support from parents to manage. In addition, adolescents from uninvolved parenting styles perform poorly in school because they have a lot to think about leading to less concentration in their studies. Secondly, children are always along increasing chances of involvement in criminal activities and other unethical practices that can ruin their lives. Finally, the uninvolved parenting style raise children who demonstrate high low levels of self-regulation making them poor performers in their adulthood. Such children end up raising their families in an uninvolved manner,
How adolescence adjust to uninvolved parenting style
Adolescents adjust poorly to uninvolved parenting style because this parenting style ends up making their lives unbearable. Teens especially from Malaysia complain about the level of supportiveness of their parents who ignore their household duties and leave their children to wonder around unattended. Uninvolved parenting style gives adolescents no chance to shape their future lives, but introduces them to different types of life-time risks. Moreover, adolescence ends up hating uninvolved parents for the rest of their lives. Parents bear the blame of not teaching their children society-acceptable virtual and ethics. A study by Gunnoe revealed that age plays a major role in determining the adjustment of a child to a parent. Children between ages of 5 and 7 show high rate of adjustment to unsupportive parents compared to children in their adolescence stages (Gunnoe, 2013).
The analysis shows that the type of parenting style determines the level of adjustment of adolescents. Teenage years are the most stressful periods for both teen and their parents. For parents, the behavior portrayed towards an adolescent child determines the future of that child in terms of liking the parents or disregarding them. The discussion portrays the authoritative parenting style as the most acceptable parenting style among the other three. The style offers adolescents with parental warmth and control needed to adjust to the changing psychological and physical environments from puberty to adulthood.
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