Parenting Styles and Children’s Social Development

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As a child grows up, their parents are their number one role models. Children look up to their parents to learn how to express their behavior in a socially acceptable way. Their parents teach their children values, beliefs and attitudes. Since this poses such a high responsibility on parents to teach their ideas to their children, parents learn to develop personal parenting styles. There are four different types of parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, uninvolved parenting and permissive.

The topic of interest is how a parent’s parenting style can affect their child’s social development amongst their peers. It is important to know which parenting style has the best outcome in a child’s social development so that humans learn to become better parents for our future generations. The research questions that would be investigated during the study are:

  1. How does a parent’s parenting style affect their child’s social interaction?
  2. Does the child’s social development and interaction change in different settings (i. e. Classroom vs.Playground)?

The hypothesis of the study would be: Authoritative parenting style has the most positive effect on a child’s social development. The independent variable in the study would be the type of parenting style and the dependent variable would have been the child’s social development. This experiment should have a sample size of 300 children plus one of their parent figures per child as well as their school teacher. The school should be a public school to get more diversity. The children should be in 1st grade, around the age of 4 to 6.

The parent and school teacher portion of the study would be an interview in a questionnaire format and the child portion would be observational. First, the parent figure should be assessed to determine his or her parenting style by using the Parenting Styles Questionnaire, which would be administered as an interview. To assess the child’s social development, the child’s schoolteacher will first need to complete the Child Behavior Scale, which would also be administered as an interview. The child’s interaction with his or her peers would also be observed to determine the child’s social skills, aggression, interaction and hyperactivity.

Limitations that might occur with the parents and teachers would be that the interview might lead for them to give the wrong information. For the child portion, culture might be an influence on the child’s behavior and development. As for the observational part, the researcher might also have a biased view of the child. Since it is not the child’s natural environment, he or she may act differently when the researcher is present observing the behavior. An advantage to the study is that the teacher and parent would both be interviewed therefore there will be two different observations of the child’s behavior.

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