Parenting Styles and Assertiveness

Topics: Parenting styles, Sociology, Social psychology Pages: 13 (4547 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Many years ago, women were usually relegated to domestic duties, unlike men who were always seen in social interactions. However, in recent years, women have attracted much attention in the area of social interaction. Interestingly, whereas some women can skillfully interact socially, on the part of other women, social interaction is a difficult task. Social interaction has been closely tied with assertion (Mcfall et al., 1982). In this way, assertion has been linked with formal education (Karagozoglu et al., 2008) and parenting styles (Zahra, Khanem and AhmadiGatab, 2011). Meanwhile, it is evident that some women exhibit assertion, but have not had any formal education. Therefore, it is important to study assertiveness among young women in the light of parenting styles because McWayne et al. (2008) notes that numerous studies have proved parenting styles as central to the outcomes of children in our society. Assertiveness

In reviewing literature, Crawford and Gervasio (1989) grouped assertiveness into three basic definitions. These include: the consequences of behavior, self expression and personal rights. Several other commentators and researchers have incorporated in part, or all of these in their attempt to define assertiveness. For instance, Athen (1991) describes assertiveness as the ability to express oneself as well as one’s rights without violating the rights of others. Hence, an individual is said to be assertive when she is able to express her thoughts and feelings in a manner that clearly states her needs while keeping the lines of communication open with others. In addition, assertiveness may also be referred to as the ability to make requests, actively disagree; express personal rights and feelings; initiate, maintain, or disengage from conversations and to stand up for themselves (Fensterheim and Baer,1975). For Rabin and Zelner (1992,p. 19) it is “a behaviour which allows people to act in their own best interest, without anxiety, to communicate desires, feelings and goals as well as maintain personal rights in situations of interpersonal stress, without being either aggressive to the other person or passive with regard to their own interests.” Abbassi and Singh (2006) points out three indicators of assertiveness in marital relationships. These are courage, authenticity and autonomy. According to Abbassi and Singh (2006), courage is represented by characteristics such as strong self-confidence, self-regard, boldness, fearlessness, non-submissiveness (but non-aggressiveness), straightforwardness, achievement striving, and leadership. Abbassi and Singh (2006) explain authenticity in marital relationship as truthfulness on the part of individuals, honesty, spontaneous, genuine (rather than being artificial or pretentious or having a false front), straightforward (being able to say no without feeling guilty), frank, and candid or fair-mindedness (having candor in taking responsibility). Autonomous women and men generally have a sense of independence or self- sufficiency and are likely to want to make their own decisions. Therefore, women and men who are autonomous tend to be flexible, change oriented, open minded, tolerant of diversity, and respectful of other people’s freedom and rights (Abbassi and Singh 2006). It has also been argued that individuals with assertive behaviours have high self-esteem and are also successful in life (Karagozoglu et al, 2008). Assertiveness, Gender and Age

Assertiveness when examined through the lens of gender has raised many arguments both within and outside of academic discourse (Athen, 1991). This has arisen due to the general stereotyping of gender roles in the world over. This is more the case in Africa (specifically, in Ghana), in that gender roles are somewhat rigid and gender differences are heavily emphasized (Onyeizugbo, 2003). The term...

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