Aspects of parenting styles and the expressed fears of a selected group of pre-school children

Pretorius, Nicolette (2000-12)

Thesis (MA) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The main aim of the present study was to explore the nature of pre-school parenting in a low to average socio-economic target suburb in the Goodwood Municipal area. Specific attention was given to the main parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian or permissive) utilized by the sample of parents of pre-school children included in this research. Attention was also given to 11 specific parenting dimensions included in the parenting styles and to the levels of psychological control utilized by the sample parents included. The relationship between parenting and certain biographical variables, such as culture and gender of the child, as well as with the specific developmental outcome of expressed fears in their pre-school children was also investigated. Data on the expressed fears, with regard to number, as reported by the pre-school children, was obtained in a related study (Keller, in press). Participants in the current study (N=91) included the fathers (n=43) and mothers (n=48) of the pre-school children (N=50) utilized in the related study (Keller, in press). Measures included a Biographical Questionnaire, the Parenting Styles & Dimensions Questionnaire (PSD) and the Psychological Control Scale. The study revealed that the majority of pre-school parents in this low to average socioeconomic status area predominantly utilized an authoritative parenting style, complemented by high levels of responsiveness, warmth and support, and low levels of psychological control. Further exploration revealed that psychological controlling parenting style characteristic of parents in this target area, reflects non-reasoning or punitive parenting in both fathers and mothers, while highly responsive mothers exhibit low levels of psychological control. Consistent with previous South African research, similarities in parenting outweighed the differences (Gerdes, Coetzee & Cronjé, 1996). Firstly, the study revealed a significant positive correlation between paternal and maternal parenting. Secondly, the study revealed that no statistically significant cross-cultural differences exist between parenting utilized by the white and coloured pre-school parents included in this research. Furthermore, besides mothers reporting higher democratic participation in parenting with the pre-school girls than boys, no other cross-gender differences exist between paternal and maternal parenting style, the included dimensions and psychological control. Contrary to previous research linking permissive parenting to internalizing behaviour in pre-school children (Hart et al., 1995), a positive relationship was found between maternal authoritative parenting style and the amount of expressed fears (r=O.35; p<O.05) in pre-school children. To validate these findings, it is necessary to measure other internalizing behaviours in pre-school children as well.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die hoofdoelwit van die huidige studie was om ondersoek in te stel na die aard van ouerskap in "n lae tot middel sosio-ekonomiese teiken-area in die Goodwood Munisipale gebied. Spesifieke aandag is geskenk aan die tipe ouerskapstyl (outoritatief, outoritêr of permissief) wat die meeste benut word deur die steekproef ouers van voorskoolse kinders. Aandag is ook geskenk aan 11 spesifieke ouerskapdimensies wat deur die bogenoemde ouerskapstyle omvat word en ook aan die vlakke van psigologiese beheer wat kenmerkend is van ouerskap deur die steekproef ouers ingesluit in die studie. Die verhouding tussen ouerskap en die biografiese veranderlikes soos kultuur en geslag van die kind en ook die spesifieke ontwikkelingsuitkoms van gerapporteerde vrese deur die voorskoolse kinders van die steekproef ouers, is ook ondersoek. Data van toepassing op die aantal gerapporteerde vrese van die voorskoolse kinders is ingesamel tydens 'n verwante studie (Keller, in druk). Deelnemers aan die huidige studie (N=91) het die vaders (n=43) en moeders (n=48) van die voorskoolse kinders (N=50) wat in die verwante studie geselekteer is, ingesluit (Keller, in druk). Meetinstrumente wat aangewend is tydens data-insameling in die huidige studie het 'n Biografiese vraelys, die Parenting Styles & Dimensions Questionnaire (PSD) en die Psychological Control Scale ingesluit. Die studie het bevind dat die meerderheid voorskoolse ouers in hierdie lae - tot middel klas sosio-ekonomiese area oorwegend 'n outoritatiewe ouerskapstyl benut, wat aangevul word deur hoë vlakke van responsiwiteit, warmte en ondersteuning, en lae vlakke van psigologiese beheer. Verdere ondersoek het aan die lig gebring dat psigologiese beheer deur ouers in hierdie teikenarea gekenmerk word deur nieredenerende of strawwende ouerskap in beide vaders en moeders, terwyl hoogresponsiewe moeders lae vlakke van psigologiese beheer toon. In ooreenstemming met vorige Suid-Afrikaanse navorsing, het ooreenkomste in ouerskap ook in hierdie studie verskille oortref (Gerdes, Coetzee & Cronjé, 1996). Eerstens het die studie' n positiewe korrelasie tussen paterna Ie en maternale ouerskap uitgelig. Tweedens het die studie aan die lig gebring dat daar nie beduidende kruiskulturele verskille tussen ouerskap van die steekproef blanke en gekleurde ouers bestaan nie. Behalwe vir moeders wat meer demokratiese deelname rapporteer tydens ouerskap van die voorskoolse dogters as seuns, is geen ander geslagsverskille ten opsigte van hantering van voorskoolse seuns en dogters gemeld tussen maternale en paterna Ie ouerskapstyl, die ingeslote dimensies en psigologiese beheer nie. In teenstelling met vorige navorsing wat permissiewe ouerskap verbind aan internaliserende gedrag in voorskoolse kinders (Hart et al., 1995), het die huidige studie 'n -positiewe verhouding gevind tussen maternale demokratiese ouerskapstyl en die aantal vrese gerapporteer deur die voorskoolse kinders (r=O.35; p<O.05). Verdere navorsing wat ook ander internaliserende gedrag in voorskoolse kinders meet, is nodig om hierdie bevindinge te valideer.

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