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Theories of Child Rearing Styles

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 3067 words Published: 17th Oct 2017

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Child Development and Welfare

Name: Theresa, C. Eric

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Child Rearing Styles



“Social learning theory goes beyond conditioning: It goes into the world of learning because of the experiences we have along the way. Discuss”



Child Rearing Styles


Child rearing

Style 1

Child rearing

style 2

Child rearing

Style 3

Child rearing

Style 4

Name of style






  • Parents are democratic
  • Attentive parents
  • Forgiving parents
  • Children are taught proper behaviour
  • Have set of rules
  • Punishment to the children for disobeying the rules and rewards for obedience
  • Parents take on the role of friends
  • No expectations on the child
  • Children are allowed to make their own decisions
  • Neglect of the children
  • Parents put their life before the child’s
  • Parents show little interaction with the children
  • Strict parenting style
  • Parents have high expectations on the children
  • Less communication between parent and children
  • Harsh punishment from the parents
  • No logical reasoning for rules and punishment

Effects on the development of child’s conscience

  • Tend to have happier dispositions
  • Have good emotional control and regulation
  • Develop lack of self discipline
  • Become self-centered and demanding
  • Children also lack good social skills
  • Sense of unimportance to the parents
  • Sense of loneliness
  • Lack of self-control
  • Rarely think on their own
  • They feel pressured to conform
  • They become socially withdrawn

Effects on later achievement

  • A child is able to develop good social skills
  • Children become self-confident about their abilities to learn new skills. This is important in cognitive development and later achievements of a child.
  • They become good team leaders, team players, and learn to spur each other to success.
  • They believe in collaborative involvement, giving people a second chance, and are likely to perform well in situations that need high level of consultation.
  • Children in this category grow up to be slow decision-makers, and may not be best suited in situations that need swift decisions, characterized by authoritarianism.
  • Tendency to clash with authority
  • Tend to be aggressive and act out
  • Underage drinking due to lack of rules
  • Lack of good manners and ability to apply common sense in normal situations
  • Tendency to develop self-centeredness
  • Such children grow up into irresponsible adults who cannot be trusted with important tasks (Gadeyne, Ghesquiere, & Onghena, 2004).
  • They generally become slow in implementing, innovating, and blending in.
  • They have a hard time discerning between what is wrong and right, and may become excessively carefree in nature. Such individuals cannot impose rules, and have them implemented.
  • Conclusively, they do not make good leaders and performers.
  • Show patterns of truancy in school
  • Patterns of delinquency during adolescence
  • Development of uneven behaviours, mainly because of lack of early monitoring and guidance
  • Children lack a sense of guidance
  • Development of “I don’t-care attitudes”, which greatly affect their behaviour and treatment of others (Gadeyne, Ghesquiere, & Onghena, 2004).
  • Inability to form teams, and work in collaborative settings – they become withdrawn from the rest of the crowd
  • Low self esteem
  • Develop fear of failure
  • Develop resentment of authority (Gadeyne, Ghesquiere, & Onghena, 2004).
  • They lack great teamwork ability
  • Tend to exercise the same authoritarian rules on the people they interact with, or lead, subconsciously.
  • Such children become fixated with success, meaning a single failure may mean the end of the road for them.


The study involves two child rearing styles, which include Baumrind’s Parenting Style Typologies and Maccoby and Martin’s Parenting Style Typologies. These two parenting topologies came into existence following various parenting styles brought into focus by early researchers. These include dominance/submission, acceptance/rejection, responsiveness/unresponsiveness, control/no control, emotionally involved/uninvolved, democratic/autocratic, and restrictiveness/permissiveness (Krause, Parker, & Covin, 2013).

A study carried out by Baumrind in the years late 1960s and early 1970s proposed three patterns of parenting styles, which differed qualitatively. These included authoritarianism, permissiveness, and authoritativeness. These three styles were based on analyzing parenting in largely middle class, white families. The study by Baumrind engaged thirty-two families which were selected after prolonged observations of the preschool children’s patterns of behaviour in the nursery school setting. It is this study which gave birth to the three parental authority prototypic forms, such as authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. In Baumrind’s later study, several attributes were highlighted pertaining the different parenting topologies. About authoritarian parents he concluded that they try to shape, control, and Evaluate their children’s behaviour based on the absolute set of standards (Krause, Parker, & Covin, 2013). He pointed out that parents have high maturity demands on their children since they are uncomfortable with their inappropriate behaviours. They do not support the idea of give-and-take, and believe that children should exclusively follow the commands they have been given by parents. This requires that children exercise absolute obedience and this even extends to even when they are socializing. The authoritarian parents do not bend rules at any given moment, and expect strict adherence (Abu, 2013). Such parents constantly demand that their children behave in a mature manner, and they pay less attention to psychological differentiation.

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These attributes were later updated by Maccoby and Martin (1983) who defined parenting style using two dimensions: parental demandingness (control, supervision, maturity demands) and parental responsiveness (warmth, acceptance, involvement) (Abu, 2013). The interaction between the two dimensions produced four distinct parenting styles. A primary difference between Baumrind’s parenting style typologies and Maccoby and Martin’s parenting style typologies is that Baumrind discussed on “permissive” parenting while Maccoby and Martin differentiates between two types of permissive parenting. About permissiveness, Baumrind (1971) suggests that parents make little mature demands on their children, as opposed to other parents discussed in the above categories. They use less punishment on their children. Besides, they let their children exercise self-control and make their own judgments. This gives an implication that they tend to tolerate their children’s misbehaviour. These parents attempt to behave in less punitive and affirmative manner toward their children. They do not assert themselves as agents of modeling behaviour change, but present themselves as tools that can be used by the children to develop any type of desired behaviour (Abu, 2013). In addition, as opposed to other parents, this category of parents does not pay close attention to children while socializing. Thus, such children become non-achievers, since little pressure is exerted on them. These children are comparable to those of authoritarian children, though they differ in the aspect the degree of their achievement.

The above findings are similar to those of Park and Bauer (2002), whose main focus was to establish the relationship between students’ academic achievement and parenting styles (As cited in. Krause, Parker, & Covin, 2013). The results revealed that there was a significant positive relationship between authoritative parenting style and high school students’ academic achievement. Also shown on this study was a significant negative relationship between authoritarian and permissive parenting style and high school students’ academic achievement. Culture and education has clearly been shown as a factor that strongly influences the relationship between the different types of child rearing topologies. This is backed by the fact that studies carried out in different countries with different cultural setups showed different status of relationships.


“Social learning theory goes beyond conditioning: It goes into the world of learning because of the experiences we have along the way. Discuss”

Evolutionary psychologists have always argued that conditioning is an important aspect that shapes human personality. This argument can be derived from the effect of operant conditioning on animal behaviour, and how this has been used to relate to similar effects on humans. Basically, conditioning is a type of learning in which the behaviour of an animal of human being is shaped or largely modified by a series of consequences and antecedents (things that happened there before). It is suggested that behaviour is liable to change in form, strength, and frequency in equal measure. Various types of conditionings have been used to modify/shape animal behaviour. These include operant conditioning (instrumental conditioning), and classical conditioning. The former mainly deals with punishment and reinforcement to bring about the desired behaviour change. On the other hand, the latter deals with behaviours that are modified by reflexes, with respect to antecedent conditions (Anderson, & Bushman, 2001). However, it is not entirely true that conditioning is the major reason behind animal and human behaviour. Social learning theory is much more comprehensive and incorporates many other aspects that shape human and animal behaviour, as discussed in the proceeding sections of this paper.

While conditioning mainly centers on using antecedents and experiences as the major tools that shape behaviour, social learning theories posit that there are other aspects that define human and animal behaviour, which go beyond the simple tenets of conditioning. Bandura’s social learning theory outlines that people learn from one another via observation, modeling, and imitation (Fuhrmann, Ravignani, Marshall-Pescini, & Whiten, 2014). These three aspects go beyond the fabrics of positive and negative reinforcements, as applied in conditioning. While arguing this point out, it is important to understand what conditioning entails, especially with respect to effects of reinforcements. For instance, positive reinforcement involves rewarding an individual, especially a child, for a good work or performance achieved. It is believed that such reward systems would act as motivating factors for repeat performances. Though this school of thought might hold some weight, to some extent, it fails to take into consideration the basic fact that human and animal motivations are guided by the need to achieve a given goal, and once this is done, such kind of a reward or goal ceases to be a source of motivation. On the other hand, negative reinforcement involves applying punishment and punitive measures in cases of underperformance, or unruly behaviour. While this method of conditioning may be applauded as an effective means of curtailing negative behaviours, it is limited in scope, since the subject being conditioned may develop a lack of response to the punishments being leveled, and outgrow their effect. These points of weaknesses are what bring in Bandura’s social learning theory as an additional explanation to the behaviour development of both animals and humans.

Irrespective of the shortfalls of conditioning in shaping human behaviour, social learning theorists have established that it is an important tool that determines how people react and adapt to situations. For instance, through the use of positive reinforcement, a child can be taught to say “thank you” after receiving a gift, and this may extend into adulthood to become a conditioned behaviour. In a similar note, negative reinforcement could be used to ensure that children learn to say “please” while addressing others, as show of respect, and courtesy. In cases where such is not applied, then a punishment could be launched. Such measures greatly shape the way people behave when they grow up. Basically, this closely ties with the social learning theory, as posited by Bandura, since this is also based on experiences, imitation, interactions with others, and modeling.

Bandura’s theory of social learning has developed largely from conditioning and has, in reality, contributed to further promoting and development of the theory (Bandura, 1963). As aforementioned, the theory depends on such tenets as motivation, imitation, observation, and modeling to achieve the desired behaviour change. In respect to its connection to the theory of conditioning, the aspect of modeling reigns high. For instance, in a school setup, teachers can shape the behaviour of students by modeling the desired behaviour of course of action, through judicious application of both negative and positive reinforcements. A practical example is when a teacher wants to instill a habit of participation in a child (Kumpulainen, & Wray, 2002). This can be done by offering gifts, applauding publicly, and many other positive ways. On the other hand, a teacher could curtail a negative behaviour by punishing the child through caning, deducting marks, and many others. Apart from the use of the dual aspects of reinforcement, behaviour change can also be significantly modeled through guided participation, and imitation. When training a child to be grateful in cases where one has received a gift or any form of help, a parent can repeatedly make the child say “thank you” in every instance such a scenario is experienced. This repeated learning, and also through observation of what the parent usually does, will instigate imitation behaviour into the child, and later on develop the desired behaviour as modeled by the parent. Such kinds of conditionings are explicitly a derivation of the concept of modeling, as posited by Bandura.

In respect to this, it is arguable that Bandura’s social learning theory has developed from the concept of conditioning, and has actually helped to further its arguments. While the theory brings in new concepts that are important in shaping behaviour, it is imperative to note that its main source of argument lies on creating, modeling, and instilling a given desired behaviour into an animal or a human being. This is the same thing that conditioning theory reiterates, which is why it is perfectly right to insinuate that Bandura has helped to promote the arguments put forward by the theory.

(Word counts = 2,175 words).


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Bandura, A. (1963).Social learning and personality development. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Fuhrmann, D., Ravignani, A., Marshall-Pescini, S., & Whiten, A. (2014). Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning. Scientific Reports, 4. doi:10.1038/srep05283.

Gadeyne, E., Ghesquiere, P., & Onghena, P. (2004). Longitudinal relations between parenting and child adjustment in young children. Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology, 22, 347-358.

Kumpulainen, K., Wray, D. (2002). Classroom Interaction and Social Learning: From Theory to Practice. New York, NY: RoutledgeFalmer.

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