Two major variables: When considering the dimensions of parenting styles and the child outcomes, Baumrind and others tend to focus on 2 major characteristics. (1) Responsiveness of the parent to the child. This includes being reasonable and nurturant and providing supportive feedback to the child; (2) Demandingness of the parent for the child to comply with established rules and expectations. When these 2 variables are considered (in the chart above), we gain a better understanding of the resulting Styles of Parenting.


Authoritative Style: These parents love their children, hope the best for them, and have high expectations in terms of compliance to adult direction and school success. They expect their children to do well in school, in sports, in arts, and in society in general. These parents tend to be reasonable in how much they expect and in how they support the child's development and behavior. They tend to provide warmth and nurturance as they respond to the child. They also encourage the child to understand the issues, values, and expectations of the parent. They talk, discuss, provide feedback, allow for cooperation and collaboration, as they try to convince the child to voluntarily comply with the parent. This process of inducing voluntary compliance is called "Induction." Induction tends to be the control technique used by Authoritative parents. In otherwords, these parents are high on demandingness and high on responsiveness.

Children of these parents tend to be more well adjusted in life and more successful in school.


Authoritarian Style: These parents love their children, hope the best for them, and have high expectations in terms of compliance to adult direction and school success. They expect their children to do well in school, in sports, in arts, and in society in general. These parents, however, tend to be unreasonable in their expectations and unresponsive to the child's developmental needs. Compliance to parental authority seems to be of great importance, at the sacrafice of the child's understanding of the issues and values. "You don't need to understand, you only need to comply!" seems to be the moto of the strict authoritarian. These parents tend to rely heavily on the use of "Coercion" to force the child's compliance. Coercion includes the use of threat, intimidation, physical punishment, fear, and love withdrawal. In otherwords, these parents are high on demandingness but low on responsiveness.

Children of these parents tend to be more anxious, withdrawn, and unhappy. They also tend to have more difficulty with peer relationships (hostility and aggression) which often results in problems in school. Due to the lack of parental support and responsive interaction, academic skills are often less than desired.


Permissive Style: These parents love their children, hope the best for them, but do not provide specific direction in terms of expectations and rules for compliance. Children are often left to decide for themselves what they will do. Although these parents may be warm and nurturant and reasonably responsive to the physical and emotional needs of the child, they do not provide the guidance support that children need. In otherwords, these parents are low on demandingness and range from low to high on responsiveness.

Children of these parents tend to be the least mature when compared to children from the other parenting styles. They tend to be self-centered, impulsive, disobedient, and rebellious.