Baumrinds Typology Of Parenting Styles Psychology Essay

Diana Baumrind, the famous developmental psychologist pioneered the parenting style typologies in the 1960’s after conducted a study on preschool-aged children. She defined parenting style as the consistent patterns of parental behaviours and attitudes in which parents interact and deal with their children and adolescents along two parental dimensions, the demandingness and responsiveness (as cited in Abesha, 2012). The demandingness dimension refers to the parental attitudes in integrating children into the family by demanding maturity, supervising or disciplining them and exhibiting readiness to control their children’s behavioural problems ( as cited in Abesha, 2012). In other words, it refers to the way the parents control their childrens’ behavior to accomplish psychosocial objectives (Ayinmode & Adegunloye, 2011). The other dimension which is the responsiveness refers to the extent to which parents encourage independence, self-regulation and assertion in their children by being warm as well as supportive to the children’s interest, needs and demands (as cited in Abesha, 2012). Based on the two dimensions, Baumrind identified the parenting styles into three main types which are the authoritative, the authoritarian and the indulgent or permissive parenting style.

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According to Berge and his colleagues (2009), the authoritative parenting style balances high levels of demandingnes with high levels of responsiveness. In fact, it is characterized as the optimum balance of responsiveness and demandingnes. Parents of this parenting style attempts to guide their children with warmth, respect and appropriate communication by being responsive to their children’s needs. They encourage their children to be independent yet they tend to be strict when necessary by setting clear and reasonable limits for their children (Moua, 2010). They also set high but attainable goals for their children and constantly support them in achieving the goals. Parents of this category love to explain reasons of every rule made because they use rational reasons to achieve their parenting goals and not based merely on their own desires or the children’s desires (Shaw, 2008). Authoritative parents also allow their children to participate in decision making of the family. Therefore, the concept of bi-directionality between parent and child can be found in this parenting style as both are seen as equals in influencing each other’s behaviours (Abesha, 2012).

In the category of authoritarian parenting style, parents of this category exhibit low levels of responsiveness and high levels of demandingness (Berge et al., 2009). They are controlling, demanding and less warmth for the children. Authoritarian parenting also places strong emphasis on obedience, respect for authority and favours power assertion (Tay & Tam, 2011). Baumrind described this parenting style as the attempt of the parents in controlling the behavior and attitudes of the children based on an absolute standard in which the children are given no autonomy at all (as cited in Shaw, 2008). Parents in this parenting category express their parental goals through rules and do not communicate the reasons behind the rules. Children are expected to accept the discipline without questions and take their words for what is right. They relatively neglect the needs of the children in order to achieve their own parental agendas and might employ forceful ways to gain compliance by using various forms of punishments on the children (as cited in Farbstein, 2011). They rarely exhibit affection or offer praise and rewards for their children’s achievement too (Moua, 2010). As for the authoritarian parenting style, bi-directional communication between parent and child is relatively low as parents exert excessive power and control over the child (Abesha, 2012).

According to Berge and his colleagues (2009), a permissive or indulgent parent exhibit high levels of responsiveness and low levels of demandingness. These parents are characterized by warm, high in nurturance but lack in demands and parental control or restriction. In other words, permissive parents are relatively too lenient towards their children’s immature impulses, desires and actions as they display excessive affectionate behavior (Aghili & Kashani, 2011). Since they are lack in demandingness, they tend to allow their children to do whatever they want and barely use power to gain control over their behavior. They also use as little punishment as possible for their children’s misbehave (Abar et al.,2009). Although permissive parenting style is described as high nurturance, parenting style in this category do not fully utilize the concept of bi-directionality between parent and child because of the low in demand or control over their children’s behavior (Abesha, 2012).

In the early 1980’s, the Baumrind’s tripartite model of parenting styles had indeed been well-established in the field of child development but other researchers continues to do research on the model with the interest to view the tripartite model in broader range (Darling & Steinberg, 1993). Therefore, researchers Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin reviewed the Baumrind ‘s typology of parenting style and suggested an additional parenting style based on the dimensions of parental responsiveness and demandingness. Soon after that, the additional neglectful or uninvolved parenting style was added into the Baumrind’s parenting style typology (Moua, 2010).

The neglectful parenting style exhibits low levels of both responsiveness and demandingness (Berge et al., 2009). Parents of this type are usually uninvolved in their children’s activity, non- directive and inconsistent in their affection for their children (Pong, Hao & Gardner, 2005). They fail to connect with their children, withdrawn and emotionally detached which makes them unaware of their children’s development (Pellerin, 2005). According to Rothrauf, Cooney & Jeong (2009), the reasons behind uninvolved parenting tend to be related to parental psychopathology or other problems such as alcohol problems.

The finalized four parenting styles consist of the expression of different types of parental behaviours and attitudes communicated towards the children. It is the emotional context that sets the tone for the interaction between the parents and children (Leung et al., 2010). Studies which examined the dimensions of parenting style separately have also proven that parental warmth and control are positively correlated with the children’s regulation of emotions and behaviors (Leung et al., 2010).

Table 1

The four parenting styles based on the two dimensions of parental demandingness and responsivenesss by Baumrind, Maccoby and Martin.

High Demandingness Low Demandingness

High Responsiveness Authoritative Permissive

Low Responsiveness Authoritarian Neglectful

(Pellerin, 2005)

Bandura’s self-efficacy theory and academic self-efficacy The concept of self-efficacy derived from the idea of social knowledge by Albert Bandura which points to one’s the belief, judgments and capabilities in performing a task (as cited in Aghili & Kashani, 2011). In other words, it is defined by Bandura (1997) as the perceived ability, the confidence people have in their abilities that they can successfully perform a particular task (as cited in Witt-rose, 2003) The self-efficacy theory is explained in a theoretical framework of Bandura’s social cognitive theory which stated that human achievement depends on the interaction between one’s behavior, personal factors and environmental condition which can be referred in Figure 1 (as cited in Mahyuddin et al., 2006).

Human Development

Personal factors (affective, cognitive)

Environmental Factors

Figure 1: The concept of triarchic reciprocity of behavior by Bandura

(Mahyuddin et al., 2006)

The environment factors stimulate curiosity that encourages the exploration of activities which invites active and positive reciprocity. This stimulation enhances the individuals’ cognitive as well as affective structure which includes their abilities to learn from others, plan alternative strategies and adjust his own behavior and engage in self-reflection (Mahyuddin et al., 2006). This self-system provides individuals with the capability to alter their environment and influence their subsequent performance. Thus, the self-belief system is the main component in exercising control and self-efficacy.

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Self-efficacy enables individuals to engage in considerable self-reflective thought which helps to boost their effort by believing in their capabilities (as cited in Witt-rose, 2003). When individuals believe in what they are capable of doing, they are motivated to put effort and persevere in the task they are engaged in. Therefore, self-efficacy helps to determine how much effort, perseverance, commitment and resilience being put on a task. Higher self-efficacy indicates greater effort, perseverance commitment and resilience (Mahyuddin et al., 2006).

Individuals with higher self-efficacy are also motivated in solving difficult task. In fact, they are more likely to select challenging tasks and persistently solve them whereas individuals with low self-efficacy are not motivated to solve difficult problem and often feel stressful when encounter challenging tasks because they view challenges as a threat or loss of control (Mahyuddin et al., 2006). This could be an explanation to why some individuals are eager to learn and tackle new challenges while others seem uninterested or unmotivated (McCoach, 2007).

In the theoretical framework of self-efficacy theory, Bandura also outlines four sources of information affecting self-efficacy which includes performance accomplishment, vicarious experience, verbal persuasions and physiological arousal. These four sources of information either increase or decrease an individuals’ level of self-efficacy. According to Bandura (1977), the performance accomplishment is especially influential because it is based on individuals’ personal mastery experience. Success elevates self-efficacy whereas repeated failure lowers it. This is due to past success in a task makes individual believe that they will succeed in the future. Bandura (1977) also stated that after strong efficacy expectations are developed through repeated success, the negative impact of occasional failure is likely to be reduced too.

Mastery experience is not the only source of information related to level of self-efficacy. Vicarious experience may also be another profound source of information which affects

individuals’ self-efficacy. By observing others who are similar to them, engage in same task and have acquired success, it generates an expectation in them that they can successfully perform it too (as cited in Whorton, 2009). They make judgment on their own capabilities and persuade themselves that if others can do it, they should be able to attain some improvement from the performance (Bandura, 1977). However, according to McCoach(2007), he suggests that self-efficacy which are gained through observation are less stable as it is not developed through personal experience of success. Self-efficacy which is based on observing others might diminish quickly if individuals subsequently experience failures themselves.

The third source of information affecting self-efficacy is the verbal persuasion where individuals are led, through suggestion, into believing that they can adapt successfully in a task (Bandura, 1977). Individuals are convinced verbally by others that they possess the characteristics needed to achieve desired outcome but the credibility of the persuader is also a significant factor in verbal persuasion (Usher & Pajares, 2008). Bandura (1977) also argued that self-efficacy which is induced in this manner does not produce much of an impact to the individuals’ self-efficacy compared to their own accomplishments because verbal persuasion do not provide an authentic experiential base for them.

Individuals’ physiological arousal is considered as a source of information which can infer their ability to achieve a particular outcome. Physiological cues such as sweaty palms or rapid heartbeat indicates nervousness which are signs which might undermine individuals’ confidence in succeeding a task while feeling of relaxation or excitement before confronting a novel situation may increase their self-efficacy towards a particular task (McCoach, 2007). According to Bandura (2007), fear reactions produce further fear of facing stressful situation through anticipatory self-arousal by conjuring up fear-provoking thoughts about their incompetence.



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