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Influence of Parenting Styles on a Child’s Emotional Stability and Identity

Parenting can take many different styles. Some of the styles in this respect would include neglecting, permissive and authoritarian parenting styles (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). These three distinct styles would have different effects on the emotional stability and identity of a child. Children who are subjected to authoritarian parenting style would exhibit some levels of hostility, anxiety and low self-esteem. In addition, Broderick & Blewitt (2015) point out such children would be short of the necessary social skills. As such, they would likely develop the feeling of worthlessness before their peers and be prone to bullying by the same peers. Compared to authoritarian parents, parents who are permissive would be less demanding of their children. Children who are brought up by such parents tend to develop a non self-reliant behavior. Additionally, they would be impulsive in tackling issues and problems. Given that they would often feel “safe” or invulnerable, such children would often engage in activities that would potentially harm them.

 The third parenting style is “uninvolved/neglecting” style. Some of the characteristics of children who pass through such parentage are aggressiveness, depression and low self-esteem (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). As explained by De Young, Kenardy & Cobham (2011), children who get exposed to trauma and/or neglect would have high chances of suffering from negative psychological developments throughout their life. However, the detrimental psychological effects would be at their peak when the children would still be fully depending on their parents. As they grow into adulthood, “neglected” children would have developed very weak or no skills for coping in life. It is also noteworthy that such children would not be strongly attached to their parents or caregivers. They would lack a sense of direction as they try to grapple with the happenings in the world. They would have no clear role model and would feel free to do anything at will.

It is noted by Cote & Bornstein (2009) that practices and techniques of child rearing would vary in some environments and cultures as far as their meanings are concerned. This implies that their outcomes would also vary. Latino parents would for instance lay their focus on family interdependence whereby they would encourage their children to seek the help of and lend a helping hand to other family members. On the other hand, families of European-American origin would emphasize on individualism, egalitarianism, or autonomy. The implication of these two examples is that cultural values have great influence on parenting practices and hence styles of parenting.

An example of cultural influence on parenting is given by Cote & Bornstein (2009) using mothers from different cultural groups such as European-American and Puerto Rican cultures. According to the scholars, mothers from both groups show warmth and support to their children. However, mothers from the Puerto Rican culture tend to be directive in their parenting. On the contrary, the European-American mothers perfect in allowing their children to make choices out of a range of many options. They believe in a child being availed with more suggestions than being overly directed. These mothers also tend to allow their children to explore and exercise autonomy.  Back to the Latino mothers, they hold that children should meet their obligations. They further have the belief that children’s actions should be for the common good. As such, they train their children to respect their connections and relationships with other people. In identity terms, a European-American child would enjoy more autonomy and independence while a Latino one would have less individualism and more interconnectedness.


Broderick, P. C., &Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Cote, L. R., & Bornstein, M. H. (2009). Child and mother play in three U.S. cultural groups: Comparisons and associations. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(3),355–363.

De Young, A. C., Kenardy, J. A., &Cobham, V. E. (2011). Trauma in early childhood: A neglected population. Clinical Child & Family Psychology Review, 14(3), 231–250.

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