Parenting Styles Term Paper

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Parenting Styles

The Effects of Parenting Styles on Students Achievement in Special Education

Parents develop parenting styles that largely determine the type of parent-child relationship and the levels of development of children in various skills and competencies. Within this discipline, the family context is conceived as a system that includes ways of mutual influence, direct and indirect, between its members. Parenting styles and family interaction patterns influence virtually in all spheres of life of an individual development: behavioral skills and aspects of personality, in their ways of interacting with the community, and even at the level of success or failure in special education.

Within the family environment a child begins to develop his/her character and personality, through parents who are nearest to him/her. Parents are responsible for the care and protection of each member that makes up the family, as are responsible for regulating conduct by setting a boundary and positive reinforcement. The parents are of extreme importance, since they are part of the construct to disrupt the learning; such disturbances are reflected in school performance.

Significance of Parenting Style

The poor academic achievement of a special student and the environment that prevails inside a child's home is often taken as an unimportant issue. However, since the various schools recognize that the role of parents in the family is essential for proper development of any individual, and particularly in student's achievement in special education. Many studies have found that parenting styles and unfavorable family interactions negatively affect academic performance and social development of children in special education (Jimenez and Guevara, 2008).

The social importance of this issue is that one of the most important problems in our country is the rate of poor academic achievement in special education level students. According to the National Institute for Educational Evaluation (INEE, 2004, 2006), only 37% of students completing primary shows a satisfactory level in reading skills, math and this proportion is only 13% when comparing students considering the socio-cultural context (including what the INEE ranks as "cultural capital of families") found that this factor explains about 68% of the differences in student learning, and cultural contexts classified as "very unfavorable" the vast majority of students (over 80%) had unsatisfactory grades in special education. This can lead to school failure of large sectors of our society (Connell, CM and Prinz, 2002).

In this context, it is necessary that the researchers pursue lines of research for the study of the relationship of parenting styles and family interactions with academic achievement in special education, reviewing theoretical approaches and findings of previous research, confirming or refuting these findings in students of special education populations and intervention strategies designed to improve parenting practices, interactions within the family and academic performance of special children at risk.

Family interactions have been addressed from various psychological approaches, using their own terms theoretical and methodological trends. The present work refers to the approach of authors with a cognitive behavioral approach that makes use of the term parenting styles (Papalia, 2005) as well as authors from the behavioral approach to handle terms like parent-child interaction, dyadic interaction and parenting practices.

Types of Parenting Styles

The findings of the research on parenting styles allow you to have an overview of a number of factors that favor certain styles, and the influence they have on children's psychological development, especially on variables such as student achievement, the level of social adjustment in school and family, or the level of self-esteem (Aguilar, Valencia, Martinez Romero and Lemus, 2004). There are four main parenting styles and are characterized as follows:

Democratic Style

Characterizes parents who define rules within the home and transmit to their children, letting them know when they do the right thing. This kind of parenting takes into consideration the needs of the children, without breaking the rules. Also in this kind of parenting style the parents communicate with the children properly to express their point-of-view, and make agreements together.

Permissive Style

Characterizes extremely tolerant parents who allow their children everything, go to the lower demand for care, are against giving punishment or verbal signs and yield to the slightest insistence. Parents undemanding, serving the needs of their children. These parents have a tolerant attitude towards
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impulses of children, rarely use punishment as a disciplinary measure, let the children make their own decisions, set a few behavior rules and are affectionate with their children. Children who grow up in such families have a lack of control over their impulses, which makes them immature for their age; have poor social skills and cognitive skills.

Negligent Style

This parenting style characterizes extremely tolerant parents who allow their children to behave as they like, but unlike the permissive style, these parents do not attend to the demands of care, not impose punishment and do not establish exchanges or negotiations with their children. Such parents have less demand and pay little attention to the needs of their children. These parents are very similar to permissive parents, but the main difference is that they give less attention and show less affection to their children. Children raised in this type of families, often have self-control problems, poor academic performance and behavior problems in special education institute and in society in general.

Authoritarian style

This style characterizes parents who are very strict and uncompromising and demand obedience from their children. Parents under this style impose rules, moral behavior, which should be practiced without objection, cannot tolerate the contradictions and act even against the interests and aspirations of children. They justify their attitude on the principle that is the way for children to have a positive future, and that the "hard" makes children responsible and committed. Children who are raised by such parents are usually very obedient but seem devoid of spontaneity, curiosity and originality, and are often dominated by their peers.

Authoritative Parenting Style

In this kind of parenting style the parents' demands meet the needs of their children. Such parents set clear standards, are firm in the use of their rules, support the individuality and independence of their children, promote open communication, hear their views, discuss with them and recognize both the rights of their children and their own. The general characteristics of children who have grown up with parents of this type are: social and competent academically, with good self-esteem and psychological development appropriate to their age.

Effect of Parenting Style on Special Student's Academic Achievement

Parenting style is one of the factors that are involved in the development of academic skills in children at special education school According to the findings in this research (Aguilar et al., 2004; Jimenez, 2008); there are certain variables that are often strongly associated with specific parenting styles. Such variables can be identified as: 1) the level of maternal and paternal schooling, given that high levels of schooling are usually related to the democratic and permissive styles, while parents with low educational levels may be found to be have authoritarian and neglectful styles and 2) social class, the relationship is similar to that reported for paternal and maternal education variable, although with less degree of influence. In addition, there are studies (Berridi, 2001, Jimenez 2008, Vallejo, 2002) which show that paternal parenting styles on three variables strongly influence specifically in their children: academic performance, level of self-esteem and social behavior within the school and family.

The democratic style is associated with satisfactory levels of academic achievement and self-esteem, as well as appropriate social behavior in school and family by children, while other styles are correlated with low levels of academic achievement, self-esteem and/or social behavior. From a behavioral perspective, another line of research was to study the issue, focusing on specific forms of interaction in the home, especially the mother-child interactions and their impact on children's psychological development. The behavior of parents in situations of interaction with children depends on the characteristics and type of behaviors, and in turn, child behavior varies according to the characteristics and behaviors of parents (especially the mother) and the particular situation the children live in.

When the child is exposed to a rich environment where there are many objects and activities, the interaction of parents and children is only possible through communication. In such situations the parents should strive to promote better interaction with their children because this effects child development. Torres Ortega, Reyes and Garrido (2008) report that parental interactions can be differentiated according to their quality. The quality of mother-child interaction may be influenced by the timing of the response given by mother or the child. The researchers found out that among the high quality interactions were the one where the mothers observed and responded to the needs of the child, i.e. they were sensitive and responsive to the behavior presented by their children; the mother who initiated and promoted interactive situations, joining in activities with her children. The development of mutually reinforcing behaviors during the first years of the child increases the likelihood of maintaining contentment and mutual understanding, and from this interaction style promotes…

Sources Used in Documents:


Aguilar, J., Valencia, A. Martinez, M., Romero, P. And Lemus, L. (2004). Parenting styles and measures of psychosocial development in college students. America Journal of Thought and Language, 12 (1), 69-81.

Baker, L., Mackler, K., Sonnenschein, S., and Serpell, R. (2001). Parents' Interactions With Their first-grade storybook reading and children DURING Subsequent relation with home reading activity and reading achievement. Journal of School Psychology, 39 (5) 415-438.

Berridi, R. (2001). (2001). Parental relationships, achievement orientation and academic performance in primary school children. Master's Thesis. Mexico: National Autonomous University of Mexico. Connell, CM and Prinz, RJ (2002). The Impact of childcare and parent-child Interactions on school readiness and social skills development for Low-Income african children. Journal of School Psychology, 40 (2) 117-193.

Connor, C., Son, S., Hindman, AH & Morrison, FJ (2005). Teacher Qualifications, classroom practices, family characteristics, and preschool experience: Complex effects on first grader's vocabulary an early reading outcomes. Journal of School Psychology, 43 (4) 343-375.

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