When discussing parenting styles, the name of Diana Baumrind always comes up. She proposed the idea of different parenting styles based on how responsive and demanding a parent is. Three different parenting styles are compared and contrasted. Permissive parents are accepting and affirmative toward their child’s desires. Authoritarian parents try to completely control the behavior of their child while authoritative parents try to direct the child’s behavior in an orderly and structured manner. She then looks at eight different situations that have an effect on child behavior. Only findings that were 0.05 or lower there were concerned with disciplinary practices were published in the paper. These eight factors deal with the harmful side effects of punishment, the effectiveness of punishment, demands, and supervision. In the end, a discussion is proposed on how a balance is struck between control and freedom for the child (Baumrind, 1966).
In 1983, Maccoby and Martin expounded upon Baumrind’s parenting styles and even added a category of their own. They discovered that parenting styles can be discerned from how demanding and how responsive the parents are to their children. Demandingness refers to the expectations parents set up for their children in how they should act, while responsiveness refers to how well the parents interact with their children. Authoritative parents are high in both, while neglectful, a new style proposed by Maccoby and Martin, are low in both. Authoritarian is high in demandingness and permissive is high in responsiveness (Maccoby and Martin, 1983).
In order to determine if parenting styles have an effect on motivation for academic achievement, some sort of scale must be used to discern if there is any correlation. In a study done by Bachman, an attempt was made to use the Edward’s Need Achievement scale to predict academic achievement in college age students. The subjects used in the experiment were selected from introductory psychology classes and scores were taken from the Edward’s Need Achievement test, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, first year GPA, and total exam points in the intro psych class. A test was also generated to measure over and under achievement in the students. Although the results from the Edward’s need achievement test did not give statistical significance in predicting academic achievement by itself it did help when used in conjunction with other achievement predictors such as the SAT (Bachman, 1964).
Can parents have an influence on the academic achievement and motivation of their children? Steinberg and his associates set out to do this in a series of experiments. The first of these was performed to determine if authoritative parenting contributes to the psychosocial development of the child, which in turn leads to academic motivation. He believed that three aspects made up an authoritative parenting style. These are a high degree of warmth, a high degree of psychological autonomy, and a high degree of behavioral control. The study was composed of 120 families and collected data on family relations and psychosocial maturity. They did this by using several different scales such as the Child Report of Parent Behavior Inventory and the Psychosocial Maturity Inventory. The results showed that the all three aspects of authoritative parenting lead to increases in school grades, which in turn confirmed the hypothesis that authoritative parenting leads to school success (Steinberg, 1989).
Steinberg’s next paper measures an over-time relation between parenting and school performance. The study also focuses on mediating and moderating effects of authoritative parenting styles. The study increased the sample size to encompass nine schools from Wisconsin and Northern California. Measures were taken of the level of authoritative parenting, acceptance/involvement, parental involvement, parental...
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