Academic journal article Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

Parenting Profiles versus Parenting Factors and Adolescents' Psychological Disorders

Academic journal article Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

Parenting Profiles versus Parenting Factors and Adolescents' Psychological Disorders

Article excerpt


The association between parenting and child's psychological states has been studied mainly according to Baumrind's model of authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive parenting styles or according to Rohner's acceptance-rejection theory. This study, in contrast, rests on the assumption that since parenting is a complex and dynamic process, it is better studied in terms of parenting profiles comprising several factors than via one or two parenting factors. We administered a questionnaire measuring seven parenting factors that cover various styles of acceptance and control to 975 male and female adolescents together with a scale of psychological states. Our results show that the associations between a parenting factor and psychological states depend on the presence or absence of other parenting factors, thereby justifying the use of parenting profiles rather than parenting factors. The psychological states were associated with the style of control and the parenting profile rather than with the level of control. Two paternal and three maternal parenting profiles were detected, each associated with different levels of psychological states. The profile characterized by high acceptance, rational parenting, and loving-control parenting, and by low compassion evoking, love withdrawal, inconsistent parenting, and authoritarian parenting was associated with better psychological states. The data were analyzed according to parents' and adolescents' sex and internalized and externalized psychological states. To learn more about parental profiles and psychological states, further research in different cultures is needed.

Keywords: parenting, control, authoritarian, acceptance, inconsistency, psychological states

1. Introduction

Most psychological theorists devote special attention to parent-child relations, especially in the first stages of development. Copious research on parenting seeks to identify central parental factors that are associated with children's psychological states and adjustment. In his psychosexual theory, Freud (1923/1962) claimed that both excessive satisfaction and dissatisfaction may cause a fixation and impair the child's psychological development. Object-relations theorists propose the goodenough mother as a golden path to healthy psychological development (Winnicott, 1956). Since then, many parental factors have been studied and associated with children's psychological adjustment. Baumrind (1966, 1991, 2005) suggests two orthogonal dimensions, high-low warmth and high-low control, and Schaefer (1965) suggests a similar pair (warmth-hostility and detachment-involvement). Rohner (1986, 1999) focuses on the dimension of parental acceptance-rejection in addition to parental control. The literature on these factors maintains that authoritarian and permissive (Baumrind), hostile and detached (Schaefer), and rejecting parenting (Rohner) have a negative impact on children's psychological adjustment. Whatever the parenting style, the primary author suggests inconsistency and incoherent parenting as another important factor associated with children's psychological disorders (Dwairy, 2007; Dwairy, Achoui, Abouserie, &Farah, 2006).

The following introduction reviews the literature on Baumrind's and Rohner's parenting factors and the relationship between them and children's psychological disorders and provides initial empirical indications about the importance of inconsistency in parenting.

1.1 Baumrind's Parenting Style

Baumrind's (1966, 1991) two-dimensional parenting factors (warmth and control) yield three major parenting styles: authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative. Authoritarian parents emphasize control and obedience, enforce discipline via punishment, and expect children to obey their orders without arguing (Baumrind, 1966, 1991, 2005; Reitman, Rhode, Hupp,& Altobello, 2002). Permissive parents, in turn, allow children to make their own decisions and regulate their own behavior with minimal control. …

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