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Do the Associations of Parenting Styles with Behavior Problems and Academic Achievement Vary by Culture?
Claudia Gonzalez
PSY 2012
April 5, 2018

Did you know that hundreds of studies have analyzed aspects of parental behavior that might promote the psychological health of children and adolescents? Based on the work of Baumrind, Maccoby and Martin (1983) defined four parenting styles: an authoritative style – parents encourage independence with limits, correlated with child’s social competence, social responsibility, and self-reliance. An authoritarian style – parents are controlling and punitive, correlated with child’s lack of initiative, poor communication skills, social incompetence. A permissive style – parents generally uninvolved, correlated with less social competence and poor self-control in child. A neglectful style –parents are involved, but place few limits, correlated with child’s poor social competence, lack of respect for others, poor self-control.
Authoritarian, neglectful and in part permissive parenting style are associated with elevated levels of symptoms and poor academic performance. Parental behavior and parenting style may be interpreted differently depending upon the cultural meaning of this behavior or style in the particular cultural group. Associations of parenting styles with child outcomes may vary, to some extent, between cultural contexts, such as ethnic groups within countries and different regions of the globe. A parenting style will not have positive effects or even negative effects on child outcomes if it is not consistent with the expectations of the sociocultural environment.
A study from the United States, observed that the associations of authoritative parenting with internalizing symptoms and delinquency did not vary between ethnic groups. In contrast, associations of authoritative parenting with academic achievement were more positive in non-Hispanic, White adolescents than in African American and Asian American adolescents. Studies from the United States indicate that children of permissive parents tend to show more adjustment problems and less academic success than children of authoritative parents. Some research from Southern Europe and Latin America reported that permissive parenting is associated with the same or even better psychological adjustment than authoritative parenting. A neglectful parenting style has not been considered as culturally accepted in any region of the globe. Dwairy (2006) stated that in collectivist cultures, authoritarian parenting would only have minor or negligible negative influences on children’s development because of the style being culturally consistent, but would have negative effects in individualist western countries. An authoritarian parenting style may have fewer negative effects and even some positive effects in collectivist societies. Rudy and Grusec concluded that authoritative parenting would only be the most effective parenting style in transmitting values in individualist societies because, in this context, it is important for individuals to assert themselves and actively pursue their own wishes and needs.
We focused on three correlates of parenting styles that have often been assessed in the available literature – internalizing problems and academic achievement. The primary research question centers around inside nation ethnic contrasts in the relationship of child rearing styles with the three youngster results in families from western nations. By and large, offspring of definitive guardians tend to demonstrate less disguising and externalizing indications and also preferable scholastic execution over other youngsters while offspring of tyrant guardians tend to indicate additionally externalizing and disguising issues and poorer scholarly execution. The second research question addresses between-county comparisons. Authoritative parenting tends to be more prevalent in western, individualist countries than in non-western, collectivist countries. The last research question addresses whether the level of independence and community of the individual nation clarifies national/territorial contrasts in the relationship between’s child rearing styles and kid results (Dwairy et al., 2006; Rudy and Grusec, 2001; Sorkhabi, 2005). Hofstede et al. (2010) evaluate the national level of cooperation/independence as a constant variable.
To include studies from different regions of the globe, we did not limit the included studies to those written in English. Unpublished studies identified by the literature search (e.g., dissertations) were also included. We identified 1,723 records. After screening and assessing for eligibility, we were able to include 428 studies in the meta-analysis. A flowchart of the search for studies is provided online as supplementary material 1, and selected characteristics of the studies included are listed in the supplementary material 2. Calculations for the meta-analysis were performed in five steps: The correlations were transformed using Fisher’s r-to-z transformation, effect sizes were weighted by the inverse of their squared SE. Then, weighted mean z-scores and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed, homogeneity of effect sizes was tested by use of the Q statistic, to test the influence of categorical moderator variables, we used an analogue of an analysis of variance or covariance, Egger’s test (Egger, Davey Smith, Schneider, ; Minder, 1997), a trim and fill analysis (Duval ; Tweedie, 2000), and Rosenthal’s fail-safe N (Rosenthal, 1979) were used for analysis of possible publication bias. Only those studies that provided separate results for at least one of these ethnic groups were included in this meta-analysis.

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