Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Parenting Practices Scale: Its Validity and Reliability for Parents of School-Aged Children

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Parenting Practices Scale: Its Validity and Reliability for Parents of School-Aged Children

Article excerpt

As a main research area of psychology, parenting is a rather comprehensive field that is explored by many researchers in various disciplines throughout the world from the perspectives of biology, genetics, sociology, anthropology, history, and law. Parents mainly focus on three basic goals all over the world. These goals are providing children with the necessities of health and safety, preparing them for life as adults, and transmitting cultural values to them (American Psychological Association, 2010). In this field, the transmission process is known as socialization.

In psychology, parenting is defined as giving the necessary support to a child in order for them to develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually/ cognitively (Baydar, Akçinar, & Imer, 2012). This definition of support that is given to a child in their growth process and the first studies by psychodynamic and learning theorists on its effects on child development, in parallel with the research done on child socialization, date back to the 1930s. That research has intended to answer two main questions: Which parenting model should be adopted in child rearing, and what are the developmental consequences of different child-rearing patterns on children (Darling & Steinberg, 1993)?

Psychodynamic theorists in their effort to answer these questions have focused more on quality of the emotional relationship and satisfaction in the parent/child relationship, while learning theorists focus more on observable parent behaviors, such as the principles that are reinforced, observance of the determined common-space usage rules, and administration of physical punishment onto the child (Cavell, 2002).

In the field, although parents' child-rearing patterns, namely the child's socialization process, have been studied systematically for quite some time, the phenomenon began being studied empirically when Baumrind (1971) defined the concept of parenting style. Baumrind defines parenting style as the values and beliefs about the child-rearing process that reveal the nature of the child, the emotions of the parents for the child, and parents' child-rearing practices. Unlike earlier researchers, Baumrind classified the different authority styles parents adopt in the child-rearing process into three groups: democratic, authoritarian and permissive. Thus, promoting the concept of parenting style as operational, she claimed these styles had different developmental consequences on children.

Using Baumrind's approach as their base, Maccoby and Martin (1983) claimed it would be better if parenting styles are dealt within the four categories that emerge from the intersection of two main dimensions: parents' sensitivity toward the demands of their children (interest/acceptance) and parents' demands from their children (control/ discipline). These styles were identified as democratic/balanced (high sensitivity, high demand), authoritarian (low sensitivity, high demand), permissive (high sensitivity, low demand), and uninvolved/negligent (low sensitivity, low demand) parenting styles.

Darling and Steinberg (1993) suggested a holistic model for better understanding of how parenting styles affect child socialization. In this model, researchers claimed that parenting goal, parenting practice, and parenting styles together create parenting. They stated that to evaluate elements affecting child development, making a distinction between parenting style and parenting practice is really important because parents can have similar parenting styles but different parenting practices (Stevenson-Hinde, 1998; Steinberg, Lamborn, Darling, Mounts, & Dornbusch, 1994). For instance, both use the democratic/balanced parenting style and explain the logic behind a rule, but where one mother lets her child play in the park to feel energetic about preparing for studying, another mother demands her child to study as soon as the child comes home from school. Therefore, even though parents have the same parenting style, performing different practices also changes a child's developmental process. …

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