Essay authoritarian parenting

People have had a strong reaction to her book. Chua's supporters believe that her parenting methods are justified by the extraordinary academic and musical successes of her two daughters. Chua's critics, on the other hand, feel that her parenting methods will not lead to optimal developmental outcomes in children. One concern is that the evidence presented in Chua's book is based on her personal experience and not on scientific research that can take into account the differences across families and the variety of possible outcomes.

This is especially problematic when reinforcing stereotypes about groups, and when giving advice to mothers around the world. Asian American parenting started gaining scholarly attention with the landmark publication of Ruth Chao's paper in the journal Child Development , one of the leading journals for developmental psychology. Tiger parenting is a little different than authoritarian parenting in that tiger parenting includes high levels of negative parenting e.

Overall, these studies showed that parenting in each of these cultures is a mix of power-assertive type parenting and supportive parenting. The purely power-assertive type of parenting described in Chua's book was not common.

Authoritarian Parenting

But, what about the children? What kind of parenting is best for child outcomes? The best way to answer this question is to have a large sample, so that there are a variety of types of parenting represented, and we want data over time. We want a large sample so that we can link different types of parenting with different child outcomes. We want a longitudinal study ; that is, we want data over time so that we can see how different types of parenting influence a child's development over time.

If we only have data from one time point, then we cannot say whether parenting is leading to child outcomes or perhaps different types of children influence how their parents behave. Fortunately, we had a longitudinal study we could use to address these questions.

We defined tiger parents as those who practice positive and negative parenting strategies simultaneously. Tiger parents are engaging in some positive parenting behaviors; however, unlike supportive parents, tiger parents also scored high on negative parenting dimensions. This means that their positive parenting strategies co-exist with negative parenting strategies. Tiger parents and harsh parents are alike, in that both use negative parenting strategies.

Unlike tiger parents, however, harsh parents do not engage in positive parenting strategies. In fact, children with supportive parents show the highest GPA, the best socio-emotional adjustment, the least amount of alienation from parents, and the strongest sense of family obligation among the four parenting profiles. Thus, our findings debunk the myths about the merits of tiger parenting. Children with supportive parents show the best developmental outcomes. Children of easygoing parents show better developmental outcomes than those with tiger parents.

Children with harsh parents show the worst developmental outcomes. The response among Asian Americans has been generally positive; some have said that they are pleased to see the stereotype of Asian Americans being challenged by our data. Some European American parents have told me that they felt guilty about being too lenient after they read Amy Chua's book, and wondered whether adopting Amy Chua's methods would make their children more successful in school.

After learning about my study, however, they feel better about their own parenting, and are glad to know that their children are better off with supportive parents, just as they always suspected. The reasons why a particular type of parenting works in one cultural group may not translate to another cultural group, partly because parenting goals are different in different groups.

Jeff Yang and Amy Chua criticize the research for implying that Chinese parenting is the same as Western parenting. The findings and conclusions from these studies were compared with the findings and conclusions made from the studies on authoritarian parenting. This essay will be investigating the impacts that authoritarian parenting has on children and adolescents in relation to their social skills.

It is preserved that there are four important components to parenting. These are thought to be: disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles and expectations of maturity and control. Psychologist Diana Baumrind suggested based on these four components of parenting that there are three main parenting styles that parents can fall under. These styles are authoritarian, authoritative and permissive. Later in Maccoby and Martin carried out further research in this area and suggested a fourth style, this they believed was uninvolved. In this essay the authoritarian style of parenting will be analysed on the impacts that it has on the social skills of children and adolescents who are brought up under this style.

The Benefits of Authoritative Parenting Style

Sociableness and social skills were chosen as the behaviour to be examined as I believe that it is the bases of most of the other behaviours that children have, for example their performance in school. Whereas adolescents are defined as humans that are between the age of 13 and 19, the difference between children and adolescents are that an adolescent is above the age of maturity. Adolescence is when their brain is transitioning between puberty and legal adulthood. The topic of child development and the impact and affect of the style in which parents are bringing up their children are of great importance and significance.

I believe this is because parents strive to bring up their children and adolescents 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 critical to both psychologists so that they are able to understand the way in which children develop in relation to their upbringing and their environments.

What's Your Parenting Style?

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. The topic is modern as a lot of the research has been taking place in the last two or three decades. Many psychologists have different definitions of what they believe authoritarian parenting to be. A variety of these will be explored in this section, a conclusion will be made on which of these definitions is the most practical. This will be the one which will be used throughout assuming that all the psychologists carrying out the studies are using this experiment.

When Parenting Styles Differ

The main strength of this definition is that it clearly states the impacts which authoritarian parenting has on the children brought up under this style. Although, a limitation is that is does not have a description of the parents behaviours towards the child, they way the act towards them and treat their children.

The desire for discipline is often dominant in this relationship, that the relationship itself is devoid or low in love, affection and nurturing. Their responsiveness to their children is usually low to very low. Discipline provides the core base to this style of parenting. However, like the above it does not state the impacts and implications of taking on this parenting style.


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The last definition defines authoritarian parenting as parents who are highly demanding of their children and are directive, but unresponsive. If their children are unable to follow the rules that they have set, they will be punished heavily, Berger The child has to obey the rules without question. Like most of the other definitions that have been explored previously, this one also does not go into detail about the impacts and what the children that are brought up under this style of parenting. However, it does explain the beliefs that the parents have about bringing up a child.

This definition of authoritarian parenting was chosen as Baumrind was the first to propose the idea of parenting styles and most psychologists use this definition as their base.

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In addition this is also the better of the definitions as it focuses on the impacts which the parenting style has on the children and adolescents, whereas the others focus on the behaviours of the parents and the attitudes towards their children, this is not important as the essay is focusing on the impacts the parenting style. Psychologists have different opinions of what they believe to be social skills and sociableness and what they do not.

Therefore it is important that we explore the different definitions and the ways in which social skills are measured. This is so that a conclusion can be drawn on the definition of social skills which will be used; it will be assumed that this is the one that the psychologists use in the studies explored. Furthermore, this can also be the case for the ways in which social skills are measured in psychology. Social skills can be defined as skills that enable a person to interact and communicate with others. What counts as being socially skilled varies from culture to culture, this is due to the different beliefs that different cultures have and what they believe to be socially acceptable.

Some of the attributes or skills that can be generally included are: the ability to remain appropriately calm in social situations, active listening skills, feeling empathy for others and expressing interest in them, understanding building skills, an appropriate degree of self discourse and appropriate eye contact. Social skills can also be defined as any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. Social rules are created, communicated and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways.

Strict parenting actually creates behavior problems in children. Here's why.

The process of learning these skills is called socialisation. Therefore each psychologist may have their own opinion on what they believe to be social skills. Some of these questionnaires ask the parents and teachers to rate their social skills on a scale of ten. These questionnaires may also ask questions on 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 social the child 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 replicate another psychologists study, they may interpret the answers that were given in different ways and therefore they would come out with different results and thus their conclusions would not be equivalent to the study being replicated.

As a result of this, when looking at the studies presented, it needs to be kept in mind the way in which they go about collecting their information and if they have undertaken questionnaires, we can gather that their can be study may not be reliable when looking at it alone. Instead its conclusions need to be looked at with reference to other studies. If the additional studies have the same or similar conclusions and findings then the study can be seen as reliable and their findings have external validity. Authoritarian parenting impacts the children; this can be in either a negative or positive way depending on the factor which is being explored.

The social 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 study that will be analysed was carried out by Lamborn et al in The study took place in the United States of America on a group of teenagers. Their findings showed that the teens that came from an authoritarian background were less likely to feel socially accepted by their peers.

Also in addition they were rated less self-reliant, compared to the other teens that came from different parenting backgrounds. However because this experiment was conducted in the United States, it can not be generalised to all children from authoritarian families, as it did not explore different cultures, as all the participants were American, and therefore for these reasons the study does not have external validity.

Another similar study has been conducted by Chen et al in Their study was taken out in China, with second graders aged 8 years old and their parents in Beijing.


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  4. This was done by the teachers completing a rating scale on school-related social competence and problems for each of the children. Data needed for child-rearing practices was acquired from the parents. From this information they concluded that children from authoritarian parents are less socially competent and are also less likely to be aggressive and less likely to be accepted by their peers.

    Although this experiment was only done on children from China, when it is compared with the earlier study stated above carried out by Lamborn et al on American children it is more reliable, this is the case as both of the experiments come to the same conclusions that children from authoritarian families are less socially adept and competent, therefore they can not be seen as anomalies and they both support each other. In addition they are externally valid as the two studies were taken out in two different countries on two different cultures and both came to the same conclusion.