Authoritarian Parenting Styles

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This paper focuses on the authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles, and discusses the differences and implications on children’s later adjustment. In the later section of the paper, it will be explained if the implications can be generalised to Singaporean families. I first interviewed a mother who described a situation when she discovered that her daughter, who was then nine years old, had stolen money from her. She was enraged and scolded her daughter for doing so, and proceeded to ask her daughter for an explanation regarding her behaviour, using physical punishment to force the answer out when she refused to answer. Subsequently, this mother gave her daughter a second chance and warned her that she would be punished more severely…show more content…
The mother’s first reaction was to scold her daughter for her wrongdoing, Although she did ask her daughter to explain her actions, she resorted to physical punishment when her daughter refused to answer. Resorting to force and physical punishment is part of coercive behavioural control. In addition, after listening to her child explain the reasons behind her stealing, the mother did not explain why her daughter’s actions were wrong to her child. This is evident of low autonomy granting. The latter and coercive behavioural control are characteristics of the authoritarian parenting style. I presented the scenario above to a second mother. This parent responded that she would first ask her daughter why she stole. After listening to her explanation, the mother would explain to her daughter why her actions were wrong. She would then give her daughter a second chance and a warning not to do it again. She felt that her child would be more receptive if she reasoned with her instead of forcing her to accept her mother’s views without explaining the reasons behind…show more content…
Distinctive parenting styles hence have different implications on children’s later adjustment. In essence, the authoritarian parenting style is low in acceptance and involvement, high in coercive behavioural control, and low in autonomy granting. Adolescents raised on this parenting style score reasonably well on measures of obedience and conformity to the standards of adults, such as level of involvement in deviant activities. However, they have lower self-confidence in terms of self-reliance and self-perceptions of social and academic abilities (Lamborn, Mounts, Steinburg & Dornbusch, 1991). This parenting style also appears to impede social and communication competencies (Hart et al., 2003). Low autonomy granting reduces children’s opportunities for exploration; resulting in impairment in identity development once they reach early adulthood (Luyckx, Soenens, Goossens, & Vansteenkiste,
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