Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles: A Trend Analysis

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DOI: 10.1080/09751122.2017.1393959
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the existing trends in research on parenting styles (PS) published in selected professional sources during the period of 2008–2017. Content analysis was used to investigate scientific articles related to PS. There was a total of 530 articles which were found to be relevant to the purpose of this study. The results of the analysis showed that the articles related to parenting styles have remained considerably high over the years because of the importance and seriousness of its role in an adolescent’s character and personality building. Considering the low number of qualitative studies, it is recommended that further studies should employ this approach to investigate various aspects of parenting styles in depth. Moreover, interventions should be carried out to improve and enhance the effectiveness of parenting and consequently the psychosocial success of adolescents
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Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
1
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles: A Trend Analysis
Maryam Farzand1, Yağmur Çerkez2, Çise Çavuşoğlu3
1Near East University, Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance, Faculty of
Education, Nicosia, Cyprus *Telephone: +90 392 6802000 - 5110
2Near East University, Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance, Faculty of
Education, Nicosia, Cyprus *Telephone: +90 392 6802000 - 5110
3Near East University, Department of English Language Teaching, Faculty of Education,
Nicosia, Cyprus
*Telephone: +90 392 6802000 - 5334
*E-mail: 1<maryammalick@yahoo.com>
2<yagmur.cerkez@neu.edu.tr>3<cise.cavusoglu@neu.edu.tr>
KEYWORDS Parenting styles, trend analysis, literature review, research design
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the existing trends in research on
parenting styles (PS) published in selected professional sources during the period of 2008-2017.
Content analysis was used to investigate scientific articles related to PS. There were a total of 530
articles found to be relevant to the purpose of this study. The results of the analysis showed that
the articles related to parenting styles have remained considerably high because of the importance
and seriousness of its role in an adolescent’s character and personality building. It is
recommended that a combination of content analysis and other methodologies should employ in
the future regarding the effectiveness of parenting styles. Moreover, interventions should be
carried out to improve and enhance the effectiveness of parenting and consequently the
psychosocial success of adolescents.
INTRODUCTION
In the 17th century, two philosophers’
work has largely influenced the child rearing
and parenting concepts. The first of these
scientists was John Lock (1970), who
pointed out that the early experiences a child
went through were very important to his/her
development throughout his/her life (Spera,
2005). The second important scientist in
child development was Jean-Jacques
Rousseau. In 1762, he proposed that children
should primarily interact with the
environment to learn from their surroundings
and more specifically from their parents and
home environment instead of studying the
reality from books (Rousseau, 1962).
Many studies have focused on parent-
child interaction and its importance over the
life span of children. Dreikurs
(1957) proposed that in early
childhood, children's misbehavior is largely
caused when a child perceives himself as not
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
2
welcomed by his/her social circle. He argued
that the child then try to seek attention of
others and when they do not receive it, they
try to gain power, then revenge and finally
they feel themselves as inadequate. He
emphasized that a democratic family style
that gives the child enough attention is very
important to promote adequate individual
development (Wright, 1957; Goddard &
Dennis, 2003).
Although several studies had been
published on parenting before her, Diana
Baumrind was the pioneer researcher who
classified different parenting styles known as
“Baumrind’s Parenting Typology”
(Baumrind, 1967). She explained that there
were two dimensions with two possible
aspects in each case, describing the
behaviors of parents to raise healthy
children. These were responsiveness vs.
unresponsiveness and demanding vs.
undemanding (Baumrind, 1967). Baumrind
has also classified three initial parenting
styles, which are authoritative
parenting, authoritarian parenting, and
permissive. Later, Maccoby and Martin
worked on Baumrind’s three parenting styles
and put them in two distinct categories
(Table 1) having four parenting styles that
describe parents’ behaviors during child
rearing (Maccoby & Martin, 1983).
Table 1: Maccoby and Martin’s Four Parenting Styles
Responsive
Unresponsive
Demanding
Authoritative
Authoritarian
Undemanding
Permissive
Neglectful
The quality of parent-child interactions
affects a child’s behavior (Lee, Daniels &
Kissinger, 2006; Liem et al., 2010; Timpano
et al., 2010), personality, as well as his
motivation (Cummings & Davies, 2002).
Earlier studies have shown that children
raised by authoritative parents had better
mental and social adjustment (Darling,
1999). Children who had warm and
responsive mothers were found to develop
effectance motivation as well as the ability
to interact with the environment effectively
(Messer, 1993). They were more successful
in dealing with their environment (White,
1959; Deci & Ryan, 1987; Ginsburg &
Bronstein, 1993; Gottfried, Fleming, &
Gottfried, 1998). Motivated children were
also found to perform high academic
achievement (Boggiano, Main, & Katz,
1988; Gottfried, 1990).
Culture is one important variable that
affect parenting styles. In other words,
parents from different cultures use different
parenting styles. Some cultures tend to favor
authoritative parenting, while others display
authoritarian parenting style (Dwairy,
Achoui, Abouserie, & Farah, 2006; Khodaii,
Medanipori, & Naghdi, 2008). For example,
in Asian countries, authoritarian parenting
style was observed to be dominant and
considered to be beneficial for the children
(Keshavarz & Baharudin, 2009). On the
other hand, in some countries, such as Spain
(Musito & Garcia, 2004), Portugal
(Rodrigues, Veiga, Feuntes, & Garcia,
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
3
20013) and Brazil (Martinez, Garcia &
Yubero, 2007), permissive style was
considered to be better and more compatible
with their culture by the parents. Moreover,
Hill (1995) stated that the same parenting
style can result in different outcomes on
children across different cultures. For
example, in many Middle Eastern countries,
parents exercise control over their children
and are strict in their behavior. These
children show no depressive signs when
tested in comparison with children belonging
to American culture, where authoritative
parenting is more acceptable and desired
(Dwairy, 2008; Pezzella, 2010).
In-depth review of the current
literature has also shown that mothers and
fathers have different parenting styles
towards their children (Putnam, Walls,
Myers, & Dee, 2014). These differences
were also observed in relation to the gender
of the child too. For example, fathers were
found to be influential on their daughters
emotional fulfillment more than mothers,
while mothers favor their sons more in
various matters (Conrade, Glenys & Robert,
2011). It has also been observed that same
parents used different parenting styles
towards their daughters and sons, i.e. a more
authoritative style may be used towards
daughters, while authoritarian style is
preferred for sons (Osorio, & González-
Cámara, 2004; Kagitcibasi, 1996).
Despite the importance of parental role
in a child’s character building and success in
different spheres of life, there appears to be
lack of a recent review of the trends in
research in this area. Such a review can help
practitioners, researchers and even parents to
pinpoint the parenting behaviors that result
in unhealthy personalities and emphasize the
parenting behaviors that result in more
fruitful outcomes. Thus, the current study
aims to provide this perspective to
researchers as well as practitioners and
parents to help develop insights into better
parent-child relations as a flourishing parent-
child interaction boosts the mental health of
both the children and the parents (Dwairy,
Achoui, Abouserie, & Farah, 2006).
Purpose of the Study
The primary goal of this study is to
summarize the recent trends in research on
parenting styles and their impact on the
development and well-being of adolescents.
Thus, research studies on parenting styles
that have been published in academic
periodicals during 2008-2017 were analyzed
according to their year of publication, type
of analysis conducted in the research, sample
of the study and the country in which the
study was carried out. Parenting is of pivotal
importance because it lays the foundation of
the personality structure on which the entire
life of an adolescent is based. Thus, the
results of this analysis will better inform our
understanding of perceptions of parenting
styles in the field and their consequences on
adolescents’ developmental processes as
well as assisting researchers in identifying
the trends and gaps in the recent literature.
METHOD
In order to identify the overarching
trends in the recent literature on parenting
styles, content analysis was performed. An
analysis of trends in literature provides an
understanding of the recent paradigms,
developments and debates in the field
(Erford et al. 2010), while content analysis
allows for an analysis of certain
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
4
characteristics of the content of a given text
(Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2011;
Krippendorff, 2004). As the first step of this
analysis, electronic database of SCOPUS
was scanned for journals in social sciences.
Then, using the key words “parenting style,”
the search was conducted within the relevant
journals. The search was also limited to
publications between 1stJanuary 2008 to
20thApril 2017 and to empirical research
articles only. In order words, books and
review articles were excluded. In addition,
articles focusing on the development of
adolescents were selected. The original
search yielded 666 articles. Every article in
this original sample was scanned for
relevance by reviewing its title and abstract.
Articles that did not primarily focus on
parenting styles were excluded from the
study. Typical examples of such articles that
were excluded are cultural impacts on
parenting, consequences of, single parents,
and so on. Articles published in languages
other than English were also excluded. Once
these articles were eliminated, a total of 530
articles remained in the sample.
To carry out the analysis of the content
of the selected articles, a coding scheme was
used where the year of publication, research
design used in the study (qualitative,
quantitative or mixed), document language,
the age of the participants, the sample size
and the country were noted down. These
coding schemes were then grouped and
transferred into Statistical Package for Social
Sciences (SPSS) to be analyzed using
percentages and frequencies. Finally, the
results of the analysis were presented in
tables and graphs to observe the trends in the
field in the last 10 years on parenting styles.
RESULTS
Document types
A total of 530 documents related to
parenting styles were included in the study
(Table 2). There were 491 (92.6 %) journal
articles, 15 (2.8%) conference papers, 12
(2.3%) articles in press and 12 (2.3%)
reviews published between the year 2008 to
present.
Document’s language
English was the most frequently used
language in the reviewed documents (n =
498, 93.7%). Seventeen documents were
published in Spanish (3.2%), seven were in
Portuguese (1.3%), four were in Italian
(0.8%), three each in French and Turkish
(0.6%), two in Croatian, German and
Serbian each (0.4%), and only one (0.2%)
document was published in Dutch,
Indonesian, Lithuanian and Russian each
(Table 3).
Table 2: Distribution of Published Documents by Type
Document Type
%
Journal articles
92.6
Conference papers
2.8
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
5
Articles in press
2.3
Reviews
2.3
Total
100%
Table 3. Distribution of Documents by Language Articles
Language
f
%
English
498
93.7
Spanish
17
3.2
Portuguese
7
1.3
Italian
4
0.8
French & Turkish
3
0.6
Croatian, German & Serbian
2
0.4
Dutch, Indonesian, Lithuanian & Russian
1
0.2
Total
530
100%
The year of publication
During the period of 2008 to present,
the number of documents related to
parenting styles that were published in
academic journals showed continuous
increase until 2016. While only 45
documents were published in 2008, 69 were
published in 2016 (see Table 2). The years
with the lowest number of published
documents was 2017 (n = 25).The reason for
this could be that the review was conducted
in early 2017 and therefore more studies can
be published in the remaining months. The
years with the highest number of documents
published were 2016 (n =69) and 2013 (n =
68) respectively.
Research Design Used
Three types of research designs have
been found within in the research studies
reviewed in this study. The most common
type employed was quantitative
methodology with 77.5% of all the studies
using this approach (n = 413). Seventy-six
(14.3 %) of the published documents
employed qualitative research methods while
only 7.7% (n =41) of all reviewed
documents used mixed methods approach
(see Figure 1). It has been observed that
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
6
from the year 2012 on, there has been a
steady increase in the qualitative studies while the mixed approach studies have been
observed to increase since 2013 (Figure 2).
Figure 1: Distribution of the Research Designs Used
Figure 2: Comparison of the analysis done with its year of publication
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
7
Documents by authors
The total number of authors who
published their work related to parenting
styles was 159. Authors who published most
articles on parenting style were Soenons, B.
(n = 7), Taubman Ban-Ari, O. (n = 6)
Vansteenkiste, M. (n = 6) and Garcia, F. (n=
5). Authors who published three or two
articles were Asadi, M., Azizi, K., Barghi, I.,
Besharat, M. A., Fuentes, M. C., Kitamura,
T., Miri, M., Muris, P., Rodroguiz, C. M.
and Sanders, M. R. In addition to these,
many of the articles were co-authored.
Documents by country
Almost 52% of the documents (n =
277) were from four major countries. The
remaining documents (48%) were produced
by authors affiliated with 58 different
countries (see Figure 3). The countries in
which academic articles were published
most frequently werethe United States of
America (n = 169, 32%), the United
Kingdom (n = 41, 7.7%), Australia (n = 34,
6.4%) and Spain (n= 33, 6.2%).
Figure 3: Frequency of the documents published per country
DISCUSSION
This study analyzed the documents
related to parenting styles that were
published in various journals, conference
papers, press and reviews from 2008 to
present. These were found by searching the
SCOPUS that showed 92.6 % were journal
articles, 2.8 % were conference papers, and
2.3 % were articles in press and reviews. The
documents were predominantly in English
(93.7%) with the remainder being shared
between Spanish (3.2%), Portuguese (1.3%)
and other languages. For the past few years,
many journals have published articles in
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
8
different foreign languages (Turkish,
German, Spanish, and so on.), which have
resulted in an increase in the number of
articles in general on patenting styles. This
shows that interest in different parts of the
world in this area has gained momentum.
In examining the results, it is clearly
observed that the content of published
documents is highly influenced by the
increasing awareness and work done on
parenting styles with increase of almost 10%
in the number of articles published within
academic journals every year. It also
highlights an increased level of interest
among parents and capacity among
researchers to work on the findings and
effectiveness of parenting.
A great majority of studies on
parenting styles originated from the United
States, Europe and Australia. Although the
others category in the analysis of country
of origin of the studies appeared to be high,
the category itself represented a combination
of countries such as Ethiopia, Hungary,
Indonesia, Pakistan, Kuwait, Philippines,
Serbia, United Arab Emirates, Tanzania, and
so on, where only one published document
in the ten year framework was found for
each country. This suggests a lack of
awareness and importance of the
effectiveness of parenting and its impact on
the adolescent’s lifelong behavior in these
parts of the world. It is consistent with the
findings that many underdeveloped and
Muslim countries contributed less towards
parenting style research and literature
(Khodaii, Medanipori, & Naghdi, 2008)
Methodological trends found within
the articles in the selected period indicated
that quantitative methods were the most
common. This finding suggests an
underrepresentation of qualitative or mixed
methods that promote contextually bound,
critical or interpretive views, and the
continued dominance of qualitative choices
in the field of psychology and psychological
guidance and counseling. However, after the
year 2012 an increase in the qualitative
research has been observed and an increase
in the mixed method design has also been
seen since the year 2013. This observation
may be an indication that such studies may
be gaining prestige in the field and the value
of their findings being acknowledged.
The review of the studies incorporated
in this study hypothesized that if parents
were able to put themselves in their child’s
place when parenting, they would be able to
respond calmly without judgment, allowing
them to accurately assess and improve their
parent-child interactions. Results showed
that if authoritarian and permissive parents
began to use effective parenting skills
education, they would automatically begin
questioning the effectiveness of their
existing parenting styles and start to become
more authoritative in practice (Wahler &
Williams, 2013). Williams and Wahler
(2009) stated that authoritative parents are
most likely to be successful in parenting as
this style of parenting creates an
environment in which the child is willing to
learn and be parented.
The findings of this study also imply
that indicators of parenting could be useful
child indicators too. As argued in the
Introduction section of this article, it is
documented that the quality of parenting is
associated with an array of outcomes
representing both the well-being and the
success of adolescents’ lives. Adolescents’
assessment in terms of their relation to their
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
9
parents is relevant because research studies
have also suggested strong associations
between parenting and adolescents future
gains or losses as well as their psychological
health and well-being. Viewing parents as
responsive, interested, but not uncomfortably
intrusive, will constitute an important aspect
of a satisfying parent-child relationship as
seen by the adolescent (Bradshaw et al.
2015).
The results from this study showed
that the most frequent or most favored
parenting style rated by participants was
authoritative, followed by authoritarian, and
finally permissive. When analyzed in detail,
Black/African-Americans were found to
favor authoritative parenting style more than
other ethnic groups. This finding proved to
be consistent with research studies stating
culture’s influence on the parenting style and
attitudes which individuals favor and to
which they subscribe (Ferrari, 2002; Bell,
2013).
The results from the current study
indicate that there was one significant
relationship found specifically between the
authoritarian parenting style and children’s
degree of negative affect or negative
temperament. Given this interaction,
children raised specifically in authoritarian
households tend to experience and
demonstrate more negative emotions, such
as fear, anger, guilt, and nervousness than
those children raised in authoritative and
permissive households. According to
Williams (2014), children of authoritarian
parents generally tend to display a limited
range of emotions, or become emotionally
inflexible because they are given very few
opportunities to express their thoughts and
feelings at home. Furthermore, when they
experience unfavorable situations, children
from authoritarian homes may shutdown,
become emotionally withdrawn or quiet,
which are the signs of lower levels of
emotional intelligence (Kafetsios, 2015).
CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
Parenting styles are a dynamic
construct and are very much on the path of
being studied more deeply. This article
presented trends that are evident in published
academic articles between 2008 and 2017,
highlighting some important trends within
the content and methods regarding the
concepts and principles of parenting styles.
Knowledge production is continuous and
consistent efforts are needed to understand
trends in this area to ensure greater
consensus about emergent issues affecting
the development of a child for his or her
better development both at the physical as
well as the psychological level. Although
parenting has started to get the attention it
always needed, ongoing reflexive research is
needed to ensure that the theories, methods,
principles, and values it purports are
adequately translated in both its published
and practiced work and that the relationship
between these elements is strengthened.
Empirical Studies on Parenting Styles
10
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  • ... The abilities to establish relationships, conflict resolution, resilience and coping behavior are the result of parent-child communication. The child"s behavior and skills in the psycho-social domains are affected by the type of parenting to which the child has been associated since early years (Farzand, Cerkez, & Cavusogw, 2017). The child"s behavior, personality and motivation have been researched in a number of studies. ...
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