Parenting Styles and Effects on Children

Every parent approaches interacting with and guiding their children in a different way. There is a lot of variation among families when it comes to parenting. The structure of the family and the way that children are brought up are significantly influenced by cultural backgrounds. Through this bond, a child's morals, values, and behaviour are typically established. Parenting styles have been divided into three, four, five, or more psychological constructs by various researchers.

Diana Baumrind, a psychologist, studied more than 100 young children in the 1960s. She pinpointed some key aspects of parenting using naturalistic observation, parental interviews, and other research techniques. Psychologists Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin also contributed by refining the model in the 1980s.

The Diana Baumrind parenting styles or the Maccoby and Martin parenting styles are two other names for these four parenting philosophies. The four different parenting approaches are:

  • Authoritative

  • Authoritarian (or Disciplinarian)

  • Permissive (or Indulgent)

  • Neglectful (or Uninvolved)

Authoritative Parenting:

Authoritative Parents are in charge and have high standards for competence and maturity, but they are also friendly and accommodating. These parents establish rules and uphold boundaries through open dialogue, advice, and rational justification. They give their children justification and explanations for their deeds. Explaining things gives kids a sense of awareness and teaches them about morals, values, and objectives.

As per Baumrind, these parents "monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative."

Children raised by authoritative parents grow up to be self-reliant, confident, and responsible. They are better at controlling their negative emotions, which improves social functioning and emotional well-being. These parents also promote independence, so their kids will grow up knowing they can achieve things on their own. Children who experience this have better self-esteem as they age. Additionally, these kids excel academically and perform well in school.

Authoritarian Parenting:

In this style, children are expected to abide by the strict guidelines set forth by the parents. Usually, breaking these rules carries a penalty. Parental authorities rarely provide justification for their rules. The parent might simply respond, "Because I said so," when pressed for an explanation. The two traits of the authoritarian style are high levels of parental control and low levels of parental responsiveness.

Baumrind states these parents "are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation." They are often described as domineering and dictator-like. Their motto is "spare the rod, spoil the child." They expect their children to obey without questioning.

The most well-behaved kids in the room will typically be those who have grown up with authoritarian parents due to the consequences of misbehaving. They are also better able to follow the detailed instructions needed to complete a task. They have low self-esteem, which contributes to their poor decision-making. As a child gets older, strict parental regulations and penalties frequently inspire a rebellion against authorities.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, demand very little of their kids. Because they have relatively low standards for maturity and self-control, these parents rarely discipline their kids. Few rules and boundaries are established by permissive parents, and they are reluctant to impose them. These warm, indulgent parents do not enjoy turning down requests from their kids or disappointing them.

According to Baumrind, permissive parents "are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behaviour, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation."

The child has a lot of autonomy in deciding when to go to bed, whether or not to do their homework, and how much time they spend watching television and using the computer. As the parent does not offer much advice on moderation, freedom to this extent can result in the development of other bad habits. In general, children of permissive parents typically have some sense of self-worth and respectable social abilities. They have the potential to be impulsive, unreasonable, selfish, and uncontrolled.

Neglectful Parenting:

Psychologists Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin proposed a fourth style, uninvolved or neglectful parenting, in addition to Baumrind's three main parenting approaches. Neglectful parents do not establish clear limits or high expectations. They are uninterested in their children's lives and indifferent to their needs. Few demands, poor responsiveness, and minimal communication are the defining characteristics of an uninvolved parenting approach.

Children with other types of upbringing are typically less resilient and may even be less self-sufficient than children with uninvolved parents. These abilities, though, were developed out of necessity. Additionally, they may struggle academically, have difficulty maintaining or nurturing social relationships, struggle with emotion regulation, and employ less effective coping mechanisms.

These uninvolved parents may have suffered from depression, physical abuse, or neglect as children themselves.

The Most Effective Parenting Style:

Research from decades of studies consistently links authoritative parenting to the best results in children. Children of authoritative parents are more likely to comply with their requests because they are more likely to be perceived as reasonable, fair, and just. Children are also much more likely to internalise these lessons because these parents set rules and provide justifications for those rules.

Children of authoritative parents are able to see why the rules are in place, comprehend that they are fair and acceptable, and strive to follow these rules in order to satisfy their own internalised sense of what is right and wrong. This is in contrast to children of authoritarian parents, who may only follow the rules out of fear of punishment.


Research tested the hypothesis that perceived parenting would show reciprocal relations with adolescents’ problem behaviour using longitudinal data from 496 adolescent girls. Results provided support for the assertion that female problem behaviour has an adverse effect on parenting; elevated externalizing symptoms and substance abuse symptoms predicted future decreases in perceived parental support and control. There was less support for the assertion that parenting deficits foster adolescent problem behaviours; initially, low parental control predicted future increases in substance abuse but not externalizing symptoms, and low parental support did not predict future increases in externalizing or substance abuse symptoms. Results suggest that problem behaviour is a more consistent predictor of parenting than parenting is of problem behaviour, at least for girls during middle adolescence.

Each family's unique blend of parenting practices is also a result of the interaction of its individual parents. For instance, the mother might adopt a directive demeanour while the father prefers a more permissive style. Sometimes, this can result in conflicting signals. Parents must learn to work together and integrate their various parenting philosophies in order to develop a cohesive parenting approach.


Sanvictores T, Mendez MD. Types of Parenting Styles and Effects On Children. (Updated 2022, March 9). Available from:

Huh, D., Tristan, J., Wade, E., & Stice, E. (2006). Does Problem Behavior Elicit Poor Parenting?: A Prospective Study of Adolescent Girls. Journal of Adolescent Research, 21(2), 185–204.

Cherry, K. Why Parenting Styles Matter when Raising Children (Updated 2020, April 14) Retrieved from-

Pamela, L., 4Types of Parenting Styles and Their Effect on Children. (Updated 2022, July 25) Retrieved from-


This Blog on 'Parenting Styles and Effects on Children' has been contributed by Nishita, who is currently pursuing B.A. Hons. in Psychology from the University of Lucknow. She is keen to learn about the complexities of the human mind and broaden her knowledge in the field of Psychology She is looking forward to becoming a Clinical Psychologist.

She is part of the Global Internship Research Program (GIRP). GIRP is an IJNGP initiative to encourage young adults across our globe to showcase their research skills in psychology and to present it in creative content expression.