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Adolescence. 2009 Spring;44(173):101-31.

Is always authoritative the optimum parenting style? Evidence from Spanish families.

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Universidad de Valencia, Departamento de Metodologia, Valencia, Spain.


The aim of this paper is to establish which parenting style is associated with optimum youth outcomes among adolescents of Spanish families. A sample of 1,416 teenagers from 12 to 17 years of age, of whom 57.2% were females, reported on their parents' child-rearing practices. The teenagers' parents were classified into one of four groups (authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, or neglectful). The adolescents were then contrasted on four different outcomes: (1) self-esteem (academic, social, emotional, family and physical); (2) psychosocial maladjustment (hostility/aggression, negative self-esteem, negative self-adequacy, emotional irresponsiveness, emotional instability, and negative worldview); (3) personal competence (social competence, grade point average, and number of failing grades); and (4) problem behaviors (school misconduct, delinquency, and drug use). Results showed that both the indulgent and authoritative parenting styles were associated with better outcomes than authoritarian and neglectful parenting. Overall, our results supported the idea that in Spain the optimum style of parenting is the indulgent one, as adolescents' scores in the four sets of youth outcomes were equal or better than the authoritative style of parenting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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