Permissive and Authoritarian Parenting Styles
Uninvolved, permissive, authoritative and authoritarian parenting
are four examples of parenting styles that will be discussed here to
help readers understand the importance of parenting styles
and how they can affect child development either
positively or negatively.
According to research by Psychologists E. E. Maccoby and
J. A. Martin, there exist four examples of parenting
styles that parents usually utilize when parenting their
children. Depending upon how demanding they are toward
their children, or how responsive they are to supporting
the psychological needs of their children, parents
generally fall into one of the following groups: permissive,
uninvolved, authoritative or authoritarian parenting
Each of these four examples of parenting styles are
described as follows:
- Indulgent, nondirective or permissive parenting styles are
more responsive than they are demanding. They avoid
confronting their children and tend to be lenient- not
demanding mature behavior of their children. These
parents allow children to control their own behavior. Two
subtypes within this group are democratic and
nondirective. Democratic permissive parents exercise more
parental control than nondirective.
- Uninvolved parents are neither demanding nor responsive.
They tend to be uninvolved and this parenting style can
border on neglectful.
- Authoritarian parenting styles are highly demanding and
direction oriented but relatively non-responsive. They
expect their children to obey them without question.
Explanations for their demands upon their children are
unnecessary and can be seen as a challenge to their
authority. Such parents are often status conscience.
That is to say, what people think of their children
matters a lot to them, so the kids better behave to make
them look good or pay the price. They are punitive.
Rules are clear and home life is structured and well
- Authoritative parents are both demanding and
responsive. Although they demand appropriate behavior
from their children, they, also, are highly responsive in
supporting their children. In a sense these parents are
present to pick them up when they fall down. While being
demanding or assertive, they are not intrusive, punitive or
restrictive. Their goal is to parent children who are
independent, take responsibility for their actions and are
Each of these examples of parenting styles affects the
development of the child in either positive or negative
ways depending upon the degree and type of parental
demandingness and responsiveness involved.
For example, both authoritative and authoritarian parenting
are highly demanding, but authoritarian kids tend to
behave out of fear of parental reprisals, whereas,
authoritative children behave out of the understanding
derived from parental explanations of the importance of
behaving in becoming a future adult and the self-control
needed in achieving this goal.
Importantly, whereas love of parent is demanded in the
authoritarian parenting family "or else," in the authoritative
family unconditional love is apt to develop due to the
support the child receives from the parents, as well as
the lack of punitiveness due to the logical explanations
and consequences that are used for the behavior demanded.
Hence, it is easy to see how the various examples of
different parenting styles affect the development of
Other ways these examples of parenting styles influence
child development are the following:
For more on authoritarian parenting styles, click here.
- Children whose parents proved uninvolved performed the
worst in all areas.
- Authoritative kids and adolescents proved more
socially competent than non-authoritative kids.
- Permissive adolescents and kids had lower depression
rates, higher self-esteem and social skills, but lower
school performance and more problematic behavior.
- Authoritarian parenting led to adequate performance in
school, fewer behavioral problems, but higher rates of
depression, lower self-esteem and social skills.
- Of the four examples of parenting styles, children of
authoritative parents benefited the most due to the
balancing of high parental demands with the responsiveness
to the needs of the child developing his or her own
independence and self-control in order to become a
responsible mature adult.
- In many cases, it appears that authoritative parents
can demand more of their children because they are always
present to catch them when they fall. Their children feel
safe because they've learned they can count on their